BPH (also referred to as benign prostatic hypertrophy) is a condition in which the prostate gland becomes enlarged, causing urination problems. According to Miami urologist Dr. George Suarez, BPH can raise prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels two to three times higher than normal. An increased PSA level does not signify cancer, but the higher the PSA level, the higher the chance of getting cancer.
Some signs of BPH and prostate cancer are the same; however, having BPH does not appear 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.
How does BPH occur? The prostate experiences two main periods of growth. In early puberty, it 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. Blocking or narrowing of the urethra by the prostate and partial emptying of the bladder cause many of the problems associated with BPH.
What are symptoms of BPH?
According to your Miami urologist, the following are the most common symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia.
- Leaking or dribbling of urine
- More frequent urination, especially at night
- Urgency to urinate
- Urine retention (inability to urinate)
- A hesitant, interrupted, weak stream of urine
These problems may lead to one or more of the following:
- Kidney damage
- Bladder damage
- Urinary tract infections
- Bladder stones
- Inability to pass urine at all
The symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your Miami urologist for a diagnosis.
Diagnosing BPH in its earlier stages can lower the risk of developing complications. Delay can cause permanent bladder damage for which BPH treatment may be ineffective. Specific treatment for BPH will be determined by your Miami urologist based on:
- Your age, overall health, and medical history
- Extent of the disease
- Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- Expectations for the course of the disease
- Your opinion or preference
Regular checkups are important to watch for developing problems. Therefore, the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society recommend that all men over the age of 50 consult their Miami urologist to perform a digital rectal and PSA examination once a year to screen for prostate cancer.
If it’s time for your exam, don’t wait! Call the office of Miami Dr. George Suarez today to schedule an appointment.