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An Enlarged Prostate or BPH

Learn the Basics About the Most Common Benign Tumor In Men

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Updated January 03, 2010

An Enlarged Prostate or BPH

Enlarged prostate surrounding urethra.

A.D.A.M.

If you are a man under the age 50, you might have not heard very much about the prostate, but as you age, you may begin to have bothersome symptoms with your prostate because of an enlarged prostate.

Your prostate surrounds the first part of the urethra, which is the channel through which your urine flows before leaving the body. The prostate also produces most of the seminal fluid that transports and nourishes sperm during sexual climax. As for size, the prostate is commonly referred to as a walnut-shaped gland.

Who Is Most Likely to Develop An Enlarged Prostate?

An enlarged prostate primarily affects men over the age of 50. Some men will have bothersome symptoms; others will have no symptoms at all. According to an article in the Canadian Urological Association Journal, approximately 40% of men in their 50s live with an enlarged prostate, 70% of men in their 60s have it, and nearly 90% of men in their 90s live with it.

What Is An Enlarged Prostate?

An enlarged prostate is a prostate gland that has developed excess tissue growth that is benign. Not all men develop enlarged prostates as they age, but when the prostate grows too much, it can cause problems urinating, obstructing the flow of urine. If the prostate gets too big, it can push against the urethra.

There are many bothersome symptoms of an enlarged prostate.

  • What Are The Symptoms of An Enlarged Prostate?

Your urologist will do a variety of diagnostic tests to assess your condition.

  • The AUA Symptom Score
  • Treatment of An Enlarged Prostate

    There is no single treatment approach for an enlarged prostate. In fact, your doctor and you may decide after reviewing your test results that watchful waiting is the best treatment approach for you right now.

    Sources:

    Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: A Patient's Guide. American Urological Association. Downloaded Oct. 8, 2009.

    Prostate Problems. National Institute of Aging. Downloaded Oct. 8, 2009.

    Tanguay S, Awde M, Brock G, Casey R, et al. Diagnosis and management of benign prostatic hyperplasia in primary care. Can Urol Assoc J 2009 (3 Suppl 2):S92-S100.

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