Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (cont.)

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When does benign prostatic hyperplasia start?

BPH generally begins in a man's 30s, evolves slowly, and most commonly only causes symptoms after 50.

What happens in BPH? What are symptoms of BPH?

In BPH, the prostate gland grows in size. It may compress the urethra which courses through the center of the prostate. This can impede the flow of urine from the bladder through the urethra to the outside. It can cause urine to back up in the bladder (retention) leading to the need to urinate frequently during the day and night. Other common symptoms include a slow flow of urine, the need to urinate urgently and difficulty starting the urinary stream. More serious problems include urinary tract infections and complete blockage of the urethra, which may be a medical emergency and can lead injury to the kidneys.

Male Torso Picture - Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
Male Torso Picture - Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

How common is BPH? Are there any risk factors?

BPH is extremely common. Half of all men over 50 develop symptoms of BPH, but only 10% need medical or surgical intervention.

Is BPH a type of cancer?

No! BPH is completely benign. It is not a precursor (a forerunner) to prostate cancer.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/11/2013

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