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- Enlarged Prostate (BPH) FAQs
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- Benign prostatic hyperplasia facts
- What is the prostate gland?
- What health care specialists diagnose and treat an enlarged prostate?
- How does a health care professional detect prostate enlargement?
- What is benign prostatic hyperplasia?
- When does benign prostatic hyperplasia start?
- What happens in BPH? What are symptoms of BPH?
- How common is BPH? Are there any risk factors?
- Is BPH a type of cancer?
- Is BPH always treated?
- What is the treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia? What drugs treat an enlarged prostate?
- Are there other non-cancerous prostate problems?
- Can prostate problems be prevented?
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 benign prostatic hyperplasia, 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.
How common is BPH? Are there any risk factors?
BPH is extremely common. Advanced age is a risk factor for an enlarged prostate. Half of all men over 50 develop symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, 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.