Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH, Enlarged Prostate)

  • Medical Author: Glenn Gerber, MD
  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Find out when you should seek medical attention for prostate problems.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: PSA Test

The PSA test is a blood test. The PSA test can be used to suggest the presence of prostate cancer, to monitor its treatment, or assess its recurrence.

The PSA test can also be abnormal with benign enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH), inflammation (prostatis), and infection of the prostate gland.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia facts

  • The prostate gland produces a fluid that becomes part of the semen.
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) involves enlargement of the prostate gland.
  • The prostate enlargement in benign prostatic hyperplasia is not malignant.
  • BPH can impede the flow of urine.
  • Symptoms include frequent urge to urinate, getting up at night to urinate, difficulty urinating and dribbling of urine.
  • The treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia is usually reserved for patients with significant symptoms.
  • Medical and surgical approaches are available to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia.

What is the prostate gland?

The prostate is a small organ about the size of a walnut. It lies below the bladder (where urine is stored) and surrounds the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder). The prostate makes a fluid that helps to nourish sperm as part of the semen (ejaculatory fluid).

Prostate problems are common in men 50 and older. Most can be treated successfully without harming sexual function.

What health care specialists diagnose and treat an enlarged prostate?

A urologist is a specialist in diseases of the urinary system, including diagnosing and treating problems of the prostate gland.

How does a health care professional detect prostate enlargement?

A health care professional usually can detect an enlarged prostate by rectal examination. The doctor also may examine the urethra, prostate, and bladder using a cytoscope, an instrument that is inserted through the penis or with ultrasound.

What is benign prostatic hyperplasia?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia is nonmalignant (noncancerous) enlargement of the prostate gland, a common occurrence in older men. It is also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia and abbreviated as benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/25/2016
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