BPH

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Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

| What is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)? | What are the symptoms of BPH? How is BPH diagnosed? | Does BPH lead to cancer? | Will BPH interfere with sexual functioning? | How does BPH affect urination? | When should BPH be treated? | How is BPH treated? | What are the side effects of BPH treatment? |

What is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)?

BPH is the enlargement of the prostate, frequently occurring in men over the age of 50. The enlargement can result in a gradual squeezing of the urethra, sometimes causing difficulty in urinating.

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What are the symptoms of BPH?

Many men may not have any symptoms of BPH. If you do have symptoms, they may include:

  • A weak urinary stream

  • Difficulty starting urination

  • Frequent urination

  • Frequently awakening at night to urinate

Blockage of the urethra from BPH may lead to repeated urinary tract infections, a sudden inability to urinate, or gradual bladder and/or kidney damage.

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How is BPH diagnosed?

Since the prostate lies in front of the rectum, your doctor will most likely perform a digital rectal examination (DRE) by inserting a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum. By doing this, he or she will be able to feel the prostate and determine if it is enlarged or if it has lumps or other abnormalities.

Many doctors perform a prostate exam for men over the age of 50, or over the age of 45 for those with risk factors for prostate cancer, such as family history or African-American ethnicity.

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Does BPH lead to cancer?

No, BPH is not cancer and has not been shown to increase the risk of prostate cancer. However, both conditions can exist together. Check with your doctor about your concerns.

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Will BPH interfere with sexual functioning?

BPH generally does not interfere with sexual functioning.

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How does BPH affect urination?

The urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out through the tip of the penis, also runs through the prostate. The enlargement of the prostate can result in squeezing of the urethra, sometimes causing difficulty in urinating.

Effects of BPH on urination include:

  • A weak urinary stream

  • Difficulty starting urination

  • Frequent urination

  • Frequently awakening at night to urinate

It can also cause other urinary problems, such as urinary tract infections.

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When should BPH be treated?

An enlarged prostate is not reason enough to consider treatment. You and your doctor may decide on "watchful waiting," in which you are examined periodically to check the status of your prostate. Sometimes symptoms may lessen without active treatment. However, if symptoms from BPH are bothering you or are severely affecting the urinary tract, treatment may be required.

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How is BPH treated?

BPH can be treated with medications, non surgical procedures that use heat to destroy excess tissue, or surgery.

Medications work to relax the muscle tissue in the prostate or by reducing the amount of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

Most doctors recommend the removal of the enlarged part of the prostate as the best long-term solution for patients with BPH.

With surgery for BPH, the enlarged tissue that is pressing against the urethra is removed. The rest of the prostate tissue and the outside capsule are left intact.

For a man whose symptoms are not severe enough to be bothersome, he and his physician may choose watchful waiting. This involves an exam by the physician to carefully monitor the progression of symptoms and possible complications.

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What are the side effects of surgical treatment of BPH?

Surgery may initially result in a worsening of urinary symptoms or a loss of sexual function. However, these symptoms are usually temporary. Talk with your doctor about your concerns.

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The above opinionated views and information serves to educated and informed consumer . The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. It should not replaced professional advise and consultation. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions

BPH
Diet Change
Prostate Cancer
Prostatitis

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