The cause of enlargement of the prostate gland or BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) is not well understood. An enlarged prostate is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland that blocks the flow of urine through the urethra. Serious problems and complications can occur if BPH goes untreated.
As men age, the incidence of having an enlarged prostate also increases. BPH is a common, often manageable medical condition.
According to the National Institute of Health, BPH affects over 50% of men over the age of 60 and as many as 90% of men over the age of 70, but many younger men in their 40’s and 50’s can have an enlarged prostate as well. Many people feel uncomfortable talking about it since it may affect their ability to urinate and may also interfere with their sexual performance.
The symptoms of BPH may vary, but typically include: weak urinary stream, hesitancy, or difficulty starting to urinate, frequent urination, and the need to get up at night to urinate. As symptoms progress, a man may develop bladder stone, bladder infections, blood in his urine, damage to his kidneys, or sudden blockage or the urinary tube, making urination impossible.
There are various treatments available including surgery. Over the years, researchers have tried to find a way to shrink the prostate without using surgery. So far there are at least six medicines FDA approved to relieve the common symptoms associated with BPH. Surgical procedures are also an option and may include: Transurethral needle ablation (TUNA), Transurethral Microwave Thermotherapy (TUMT) and Laser surgery.
Digital Rectal Examination (DRE), Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood tests, and prostate biopsies are routinely done to help the doctor to identify the problem and decide whether surgery is needed.
There is hope through research!
South Florida Medical Research is now conducting a research study for men with enlarged prostate. The purpose of the study is to assess the safety and effectiveness of an investigational medication treating the symptoms of BPH. For more information contact our office at 305-931-8080.