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.

Enlarged Prostate (BPH) Pictures Slideshow

Are there other non-cancerous prostate problems?

Yes, aside from BPH, there are a number of prostate problems that also have nothing at all to do with cancer. Among these benign disorders of the prostate are acute prostatitis and chronic prostatitis.

Acute prostatitis is a bacterial infection of the prostate. It can occur in men at any age. Symptoms include fever, chills, and pain in the lower back and between the legs. This problem also can make it hard or painful to urinate. Doctors prescribe antibiotics for acute prostatitis and recommend that the patient drink more liquids. Treatment is usually successful.

Chronic prostatitis is a prostate inflammation that tends to recur over time. It is usually not associated with true bacterial infection but causes similar symptoms of pain and discomfort, without fevers or chills. Chronic prostatitis is difficult to treat, and the exact cause is not well understood. Antibiotics may be used in some cases as well as antiinflammatory medications such as ibuprofen. In many cases, symptoms will resolve on their own.

Can prostate problems be prevented?

The best protection against prostate problems is to have regular medical checkups that include a careful prostate exam. See a doctor promptly if symptoms occur such as

  • a frequent urge to urinate,
  • painful urination,
  • bloody urine
  • difficulty in urinating, or
  • dribbling of urine.

Regular checkups are important even for men who have had surgery for BPH. BPH surgery does not protect against prostate cancer because only part of the prostate is removed. In all cases, the sooner a doctor finds a problem, the better the chances that treatment will work.

Medically reviewed by Michael Wolff, MD; American Board of Urology

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/25/2016
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