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Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

Benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), enlarged prostate affects more than half of all U.S. men by the time they are 60 years of age and 90 percent by age 85. Due to its position, an enlarged prostate gland will place pressure on the urethra, causing urination issues. With the right care, this condition is highly treatable; through the expertise of Florida Hospital’s urologists, many men have regained their quality of life.  Request an appointment with a specialist in benign prostate hyperplasia today.

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What is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)?

BPH (also referred to as benign prostatic hypertrophy) is a condition in which the prostate gland becomes very enlarged and may cause problems associated with urination. BPH can raise PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels two to three times higher than the normal level. An increased PSA level does not indicate cancer, but the higher the PSA level, the higher the chance of having cancer.

Some of the signs of BPH and prostate cancer are the same; however, having BPH does not seem to increase the chances of developing prostate cancer. A man who has BPH may also have undetected prostate cancer at the same time or may develop prostate cancer in the future. Therefore, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommend that all men over 50 consult their physicians about having a digital rectal and PSA examination once a year to screen for prostate cancer.

How does BPH occur?

The prostate goes through two main periods of growth. In early puberty, the prostate doubles in size. Then, around age 25, the prostate begins to grow again and continues to grow throughout most of a man's life.

The continuing enlargement of the prostate does not usually cause problems until later in life. However, the second period of growth may, many years later, result in BPH. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK):

  • BPH rarely causes symptoms before age 40.
  • More than half of men in their 60s have some symptoms of BPH.
  • As many as 90 percent of men in their 70s and 80s have some symptoms of BPH.

What happens when the prostate enlarges?

As the prostate enlarges, it presses against the urethra and interferes with urination. At the same time, the bladder wall becomes thicker and irritated, and begins to contract -- even when it contains only small amounts of urine -- which causes more frequent urination. And, as the bladder continues to weaken, it may not empty completely and leave some urine behind, leading to a frequent sensation of having to void, having a slow urinary flow, and waking up at night to urinate.

Blocking or narrowing of the urethra by the prostate and partial emptying of the bladder cause many of the problems associated with BPH.

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