5 facts to know about an enlarged prostate (BPH)
First - An enlarged prostate (BPH) is not and does not cause prostate cancer
Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) or enlarged prostate is characterized by an increase in the volume of your prostate due to excessive multiplication of your cells. It is a natural part of getting older. From the age of 50, it affects almost all men as they get older and about 25% of them will need to be treated. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is not a form of prostate cancer and does not increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.
2. The exact cause of BPH remains unknown, but...
The exact cause of BPH remains unknown, although links may be established with a high-fat diet, family history, sedentary lifestyle, and hormones. Not all men with BPH experience symptoms, but if the prostate enlargement presses on the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body), it could result in the following symptoms.
3. Are your comings and goings to the toilet frequent?
In the early stages of BPH, there are no signs and symptoms. These appear when the prostate puts pressure on the urethra and bladder and cause changes in urination. The most common signs and symptoms:
- More frequent urination (urinary frequency), especially at night
- A strong or sudden urge to urinate (urinary urgency)
- Difficulty starting or stopping the urine stream (called straining)
- Weak or slow urine stream
- Interrupted urine flow
- Being unable to empty the bladder completely
- Difficulty controlling the bladder (leaks)
- Pain or a burning sensation during urination
- Difficult or painful ejaculation
- Blood in the urine or semen (rare)
However, be aware that there is not always a relationship between the symptoms experienced and the size of the prostate. Indeed, some men have a large prostate without having symptoms, while others have symptoms despite a smaller prostate.
4. It is important to consult a doctor in case of symptoms
This reduces the risk of severe complications. If you have unusual symptoms of BPH or if your doctor thinks you might have BPH, you will be sent for tests. These tests and examinations are used to confirm a BPH diagnosis, to rule out other problems such as urinary tract infection or prostate cancer, and to check for any BPH-related complications. They could include the following:
- Medical history and physical exam
- Urine tests
- Blood tests
5. Lifestyle changes can make a difference
The need to treat depends only on the severity of the symptoms and how they affect your quality of life. In general, drug treatment will be sufficient. When necessary, surgery remains a good option.
Changes in your lifestyle can improve your symptoms. They consist in avoiding certain foods (coffee, tea, alcohol) which can irritate your bladder and worsen your symptoms, to decrease the number of liquids ingested in the evening before bedtime, to hydrate during the day (1.5-2.0L/day of liquid) and adopt a healthy diet to avoid constipation.
Take the time to visit each of our pages on this website, as well as our YouTube channel, in order to get familiar with the disease with our expert lectures, our section on available resources, the support that is offered to you.
Do you have any questions or concerns? Above all, do not hesitate. Contact us at 1 855 899-2873 to discuss with a nurse specializing in uro-oncology. It's simple and free, like all our services.
Written by PROCURE. © All rights reserved - 2019