Enlarged Prostate & Other Prostate Problems

By: Helen Hecker

In older men, the inner part of the prostate around the urethra may continue to grow, a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) - also referred to as an enlarged prostate or swollen prostate. Perhaps a fourth of men have some degree of hyperplasia by the time they reach their fifties. By the eighth decade, over 90% of males will have prostatic hyperplasia (according to the American Urological Association).

However, in only a small number of cases (about 10%) will this hyperplasia be symptomatic and severe enough to require any surgical or medical therapy. The mechanism for hyperplasia may be related to an accumulation of dihydrotestosterone in the prostate, which then binds to nuclear hormone receptors which then trigger the growth. The normal prostate weighs 20 to 30 gm, but most prostates with nodular hyperplasia can weigh as much as 50 to 100 gm. And nodular hyperplasia is NOT a precursor to cancer. A mildly increased PSA (4 to 10 ng/mL) in a patient with a very large prostate can be due to either nodular hyperplasia, or to prostatitis, rather than cancer.

It's good to know that BPH (enlarged prostate) is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate that is very common in men as they age. The inner part of the prostate around the urethra may continue to grow. While this can cause problems with urinating because it can press on the urethra (the tube that carries the urine), BPH is not cancer.

The class of drugs usually used to conventionally treat BPH are the alpha 1-adrenoreceptors, including prazosin, alfuzosin, indoramin, terazosin, doxazosin, and tamsulosin.

Both BPH and prostate cancer, however, can cause similar problems in older men. The "free PSA test" may help determine the difference between BPH and prostate cancer. Prostatitis, BPH, prostate cancer and metastasis are all very common prostate ailments. Many of these symptoms, however, can also be caused by other conditions, such as a urinary tract infection (UTI), acute prostatitis, or even a sexually transmitted disease.

Doctors must determine if a patient's symptoms are due to prostate cancer, BPH, or to a number of other non-cancer-related conditions. Your doctor conducts a digital rectal exam in order to diagnose BPH. Treatment choices for BPH also include an ever watchful waiting.

Also regular checkups are important even for men who have had surgery for BPH. Learn all you can about the treatment options for these prostate disorders if you're having prostate symptoms that are keeping you up at night or keeping you up at night with worry. To understand your symptoms more take one of the free self tests for symptoms that are found online.

However, with so many treatment choices now available, men with BPH or prostate cancer sometimes have difficulty deciding on which is the right treatment, and the long-term lifestyle effects that each of the prostate disease treatments may cause, especially if conventional or standard treatment is chosen where there is more risk. Other ways to relieve the symptoms of BPH use radiowaves, microwaves, or electrical current.

Also there is always the natural approach to consider. A natural prostate diet may be an alternative chosen by some men rather than risk chemo drugs or radiation. Many men live well into a much older age with various prostate conditions and suffer no ill consequences. Prostate cancer, an enlarged prostate and BPH used to be diseases of old age but not anymore.

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