BPH is a condition that occurs when the prostate gland becomes enlarged but doesn’t contain a cancerous tumor. Although BPH isn’t dangerous to the patient, it can still cause uncomfortable symptoms that interfere with the patient’s life.
Most men experience continued growth of the prostate gland throughout their lives. Researchers don’t know exactly what causes this ongoing growth, but it may be related to changes in the balance of male sex hormones that occur over time. As the prostate continues to enlarge, it will eventually block the flow of urine, which leads to the symptoms of BPH.
The symptoms of BPH include:
For many men with BPH, these symptoms will worsen over time. In rare cases, men with BPH may also experience blood in the urine or urinary tract infections because of the condition.
The doctor will usually begin by performing a digital rectal exam to check the size of the prostate. The doctor may also order blood tests, urine tests, and a neurological exam to rule out other possible causes of the patient’s symptoms. Also, the doctor may order a prostate-specific antigen test, which measures the levels of a particular substance produced by the prostate. If the prostate is enlarged, these levels will typically be higher than normal.
In some cases, patients with an enlarged prostate may respond positively to medications, such as alpha blockers, that make it easier to urinate. However, if symptoms of BPH are moderate to severe, surgical treatment may be required. The goal of surgery is to make it easier for urine to pass or to reduce the size of the prostate gland. The doctors at Urology Associates Medical Group will explain all treatment options in detail so that patients can make the best choice.
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