What Is Enlarged Prostate
Enlarged prostate refers to the state in which the prostate is enlarged but not cancerous.
Hormonal changes and cell growth resulting from the aging process may cause the prostate to swell, often impinging upon and compressing the urethra. This causes the bladder walls to become thicker and can prevent the bladder from emptying completely.
What Is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Benign prostatic hyperplasiaalso called BPHis a condition in men in which the prostate gland is enlarged and not cancerous. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is also called benign prostatic hypertrophy or benign prostatic obstruction.
The prostate goes through two main growth periods as a man ages. The first occurs early in puberty, when the prostate doubles in size. The second phase of growth begins around age 25 and continues during most of a mans life. Benign prostatic hyperplasia often occurs with the second growth phase.
As the prostate enlarges, the gland presses against and pinches the urethra. The bladder wall becomes thicker. Eventually, the bladder may weaken and lose the ability to empty completely, leaving some urine in the bladder. The narrowing of the urethra and urinary retentionthe inability to empty the bladder completelycause many of the problems associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Minimally Invasive Treatments For An Enlarged Prostate
When medications don’t help your enlarged prostate, several procedures can relieve symptoms — without surgery. They are performed in a doctor’s office. “These procedures use various types of heat energy to shrink a portion of the prostate,” explains Westney. “They are very effective.”
TUMT : This therapy for mild to moderate blockage reduces urinary frequency, urgency, straining, and intermittent flow — but does not correct any bladder-emptying problems. In this procedure, computer-regulated microwaves are used to heat portions within the prostate to destroy select tissue. A cooling system protects the wall of the urethra during the procedure. TUMT is performed in a doctor’s office and requires only topical anesthesia and pain medications.
Possible side effects include painful urination for several weeks. Temporary urgency and frequency of urination is also possible. There may be less semen ejaculated. Many men must have this procedure repeated, either because symptoms return or do not improve.
TUNA : This procedure also destroys prostate tissue to improve urine flow and relieve symptoms. It involves heating the tissue with high-frequency radiowaves transmitted by needles inserted directly into the prostate . The procedure does not require a hospital stay. Possible side effects include painful, urgent, or frequent urination for a few weeks.
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What Is An Enlarged Prostate
The prostate is an essential gland in the male reproductive system. It contributes to the semen volume and synthesizes a substance that supports sperm cells.
This gland is below the urinary bladder, surrounding the urethra. In the bladder neck. Thus, as it grows, it can put pressure over the urethra or the urinary bladder. However, what is an enlarged prostate? Is it the same as prostate cancer?
An enlarged prostate is simply a gland that increased in size. It is not caused by cancer. Another medical term is benign prostatic enlargement, where benign means theres no cancer. Another name is benign prostatic hyperplasia .
When we talk about hyperplasia, we refer to an increase in number and not size. Thus, in prostatic hyperplasia, there are more prostate cells . However, they remain the same size as normal prostate tissue. Such an increase in the number of cells causes an enlarged prostate. It usually starts in men after the age of 40. But they typically find out when they are near their 50s .
In some cases, an enlarged prostate grows evenly. In other instances, prostate growth is more irregular. When the overgrowth is near the center, it presses the urethra on the outside.
As a result, the urethra becomes narrow, compromising the urine flow. As a result, 1 out of 3 men over 50 years old report urinary symptoms. In the majority of cases, they are caused by an enlarged prostate gland .
Diagnosing Benign Prostate Enlargement
You might have several different tests to find out if you have an enlarged prostate.
A GP may do some of these tests, such as a urine test, but others might need to be done at a hospital.
Some tests may be needed to rule out other conditions that cause similar symptoms to BPE, such as prostate cancer.
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What Are The Causes Of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
The exact cause is not known. Enlargement of the prostate gland is a normal process that develops as men get older. Therefore it becomes more common with increasing age. it is thought that changes in the male sex hormones that occur with ageing may be at least part of the cause.
Prostate gland enlargement can be caused by other conditions such as prostate cancer, acute prostatitis and chronic prostatitis. See the separate leaflets called Prostate Cancer, Acute Prostatitis and Chronic Prostatitis.
Can I Do Anything To Prevent Bph
We dont know what causes BPH or how to prevent it. But we do know that lifestyle changes can help to stop the symptoms getting worse, and might even help to improve things. You could think about:
Reducing or cutting out caffeine and alcohol, which irritate the bladder
Avoiding things that make you constipated
Reducing your weight
Controlling diabetes and blood pressure
Although it can be difficult to talk about your prostate, its important to see your doctor if you start noticing any symptoms.
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Surgery For An Enlarged Prostate
For most men with very enlarged prostates, surgery can relieve symptoms — but there are both risks and benefits with each type of operation. Discuss them with your doctor. After a careful evaluation of your situation and your general medical condition, your doctor will recommend which is best for you.
TURP : This is the most common surgery for an enlarged prostate, and considered to bring the greatest reduction in symptoms. Only the tissue growth that is pressing against the urethra is removed to allow urine to flow easily. The procedure involves an electrical loop that cuts tissue and seals blood vessels. Most doctors suggest using TURP whenever surgery is required, as it is less traumatic than open surgery and requires shorter recovery time.
With the TURP procedure, patients can expect to have retrograde ejaculation afterwards, says Westney. This is a condition in which a man ejaculates backward into the bladder instead of through the urethra. “Retrograde ejaculation generally isn’t painful,” she tells WebMD. “It shouldn’t be an issue unless fertility is a concern.” Other possible side effects include blood loss requiring transfusion , painful urination, recurring urinary tract infections, bladder neck narrowing, and blood in the urine.
After TURP, the odds of erection problems range from 5% to 35%. However, this is often temporary — and the ability to have an erection and an orgasm returns after a few months.
Cause Of Enlarged Prostate
Prostate cancer treatment: Nowadays, various methods are applied to prostate cancer treatment.
- Watchful monitoring: Prostate cancer spreads slowly. It does not show early symptoms. A person should regularly visit the physician for the medical checkups regarding enlarged prostate, specifically after the age of 40 years.
- Radical Prostatectomy: Radical Prostatectomy is the surgical removal of the prostate It is the fastest method of prostate cancer treatment.
- Brachytherapy: In this, radioactive ovule is implanted in the prostate. This treatment is based on targeted radiation therapy.
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy: In this therapy, the beams of different intensities are applied to the growth in the prostate. The subject receives the radiation in combination with the hormone therapy for 4 to 6 months. The treatment plan depends upon the individual cases and the severity of cancer.
- Androgen deprivation therapy: It is also known as androgen suppression therapy. Androgen is male hormones that can stimulate cancer cells. ADT is a treatment which reduces the effects of androgens.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia : Enlargement of the prostate is the second leading prostate complication in aged males. It is also called as benign prostatic hyperplasia . It is not the form of prostate cancer, but a normal part of the aging process. The cells in the prostate gland start multiplying leading to increase in its size.
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When To Contact A Medical Professional
- Less urine than usual
- Back, side, or abdominal pain
- Blood or pus in your urine
Also call if:
- Your bladder does not feel completely empty after you urinate.
- You take medicines that may cause urinary problems, such as diuretics, antihistamines, antidepressants, or sedatives. DO NOT stop or change your medicines without talking to your provider.
- You have tried self-care steps for 2 months and symptoms have not improved.
Does Having Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Increase The Risk Of Prostate Cancer
Based on research to date, having BPH does not seem to increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. However, BPH and prostate cancer have similar symptoms, and a man who has BPH may have undetected cancer at the same time.
To help detect prostate cancer in its early stages, the American Urological Association and the American Cancer Society recommend a prostate screening every year for men ages 55 to 69. They also recommend that men who are at high risk such as African-American men and men who have a family history of prostate cancer begin screening at age 40. Screening tests for prostate cancer include a blood test for a substance called prostate-specific antigen and the digital rectal exam .
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Should I See A Doctor
You should see a doctor if you notice any of the symptoms listed above. This is particularly important if the symptoms are causing you distress, are accompanied by pain in your abdomen, or if your urine has blood in it. Without medical attention, the condition can worsen and your symptoms may become more troubling.
What Aggravates An Enlarged Prostate
Some foods to avoid include: Red meat: Research suggests that going red meat-free may help improve prostate health. In fact, daily meat consumption is believed to triple the risk of prostate enlargement. Dairy: Similarly to meat, regular consumption of dairy has been linked to an increased risk of BPH.
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How Do You Know If Something Is Wrong With Your Prostate
Others experience discomfort or burning while urinating, blood in the urine or sperm, back, hips, or pelvis pain, and painful ejaculation. Your doctor will inquire about your previous medical issues as well as the medical history of your family to determine whether these symptoms are caused by prostate cancer.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Prostate Enlargement
Not every man with an enlarged prostate has symptoms. But when symptoms do occur, they are related to the prostate obstructing the flow of urine through the urethra. This can lead to problems such as:
- Difficulty in starting or stopping urination
- Dribbling of urine after urination has stopped
- A weak urine stream
- Pain in the area between the scrotum and the anus and
- A feeling that the bladder is not empty even after urinating.
Although these symptoms are usually due to an enlarged prostate, they may also be caused by other serious conditions . So men should always see a doctor if they notice changes in the how they urinate, or how often.
What Is The Prostate Gland
The prostate is a gland about the size of a walnut. It is part of the male reproductive system and wraps around the tube that carries urine out of the bladder. It grows larger as you get older. If your prostate gets too large, it can cause health issues. Having prostate problems does not always mean you have cancer.
Sometimes a doctor may find a problem during a routine checkup or by doing a rectal exam. If you think there is something wrong with your prostate, see your doctor right away.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Bph
If you have BPH, you might not have any noticeable symptoms. However, a common symptom is a change to your urination, because BPH affects the part of the prostate that surrounds the top part of the urethra.
Lower urinary tract symptoms is a common term used to describe a range of urination symptoms. LUTS linked to BPH can cause some discomfort, or block the urine passage, but you might have other symptoms as well. It can be hard to start urinating, or the flow slows to a dribble. Other symptoms include urgent, frequent and painful urination.
Two Genes Implicated In Development Of Prostate Enlargement
Stanford scientists have identified a genetic signature that signals enlarged prostate tissue. The discovery has helped them find possible drivers of the condition.
New research from Stanford indicates that only certain types of cells are responsible for enlargement of the prostate, a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia.Medical Art Inc./Shutterstock
For aging men, prostate enlargement is almost as common as graying hair, and yet scientists know very little about why the prostate increases in size or how the process occurs on a molecular level.
In a new study, scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered a molecular pattern that flags prostate enlargement, also called benign prostatic hyperplasia, and have even identified two genes that likely play a role in the development of the condition.
The urethra runs directly through the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. And while a bigger prostate is not typically life-threatening in itself, it can cause urinary-related symptoms that range from niggling to severe. When the prostate becomes enlarged, it squeezes the urinary tube, causing problems such as incontinence or urinary urgency.
A paper describing the study is available online now and will be included in the June 20 issue of JCI Insight. Brooks and professors of pathology Jonathan Pollack, MD, PhD, and Robert West, MD, PhD, share senior authorship. Former MD-PhD student Lance Middleton is the lead author.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Enlarged Prostate
When the prostate becomes enlarged, it can block the urethra and impair bladder function. Symptoms that may indicate this is happening include:
- Urinating many times a day and being unable to hold off urination
- Problems starting a urine stream or a weak or interrupted stream, followed by dribbling at the end
- Waking at night to urinate and accidental loss of urine
How Do I Keep My Prostate Healthy
Go with the Flow
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What Treatments Are There For Bph
If you have LUTS linked with BPH, its important to think about how much the symptoms are bothering you before deciding on treatment.
If your symptoms are mild, it might be best not to have any treatment, as treatment side effects can affect your quality of life more than your initial symptoms prior to treatment. There are medicines that can help if you have mild to moderate symptoms. If your symptoms are moderate to severe, there are a number of surgery options with varying risks and benefits.
Because BPH can affect your relationships, it can help to include your family or partner in the treatment process.
Symptoms Of An Enlarged Prostate
As mentioned above, the most common symptoms of an enlarged prostate are urination problems. Its because the prostate portion surrounding the urethra narrows the normal passage of urine. These problems become worse as the patient gets older.
The progression prolongs which some patients may not even realize. They learn to live with the symptoms and sometimes wont even report them. However, it is crucial to recognize the symptoms of an enlarged prostate and consult your doctor.
Heres a list of the most important symptoms .
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What Are The Possible Complications
Urinary symptoms do not worsen in everyone. Serious complications are unlikely to occur in most men with an enlarged prostate. Complications that sometimes occur include:
- In some cases, a total blockage of urine occurs so you will no longer be able to pass urine. This is called urinary retention. It can be very uncomfortable and you will need to have a small tube inserted to drain the bladder. It occurs in less than 1 in 100 men with an enlarged prostate each year. See the separate leaflet called Urinary Retention.
- In some cases, only some of the urine in the bladder is emptied when you pass urine. Some urine remains in the bladder at all times. This ongoing condition is called chronic retention. This may cause repeated urine infections, or incontinence .
Note: the risk of prostate cancer is not increased. Men with a benign prostate enlargement are no more or less likely to develop prostate cancer than those without benign prostate enlargement.