Most prostate diseases are actually noncancerous. Suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia is one of the most common male urologic problems. As many as 50% of men will experienced some form of enlarged prostate by age 60 and around 90% of men will report symptoms by age 90.
Why it Occurs
It is not currently understood exactly why prostate enlargement occurs. It is theorized, however, that it is due to an excess of certain hormones in the body. One possible explanation is the presence of a hormone known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the blood. DHT is a natural hormone that is related to the initial stages of prostate growth. As men age, DHT may cause the prostate to continue growing, even though it has already reached full size. It has been discovered that men who do not produce DHT will not experience an enlarged prostate.
The Role of Estrogen
It has also been suggested that estrogen may also play a role in an enlarged prostate. Men produce both testosterone and a small amount of estrogen. As they age, the level of testosterone in the blood significantly decreases, leaving a much larger ratio of estrogen to testosterone. Studies have found that men with enlarged prostates often have higher levels of estrogen. Many doctors also believe that genetics can play a role in this condition as well. Men with a family history of enlarged prostates are at a greater risk of experiencing an enlarged prostate themselves.
A common symptom from an enlarged prostate is the need to frequently empty the bladder. You might also feel that your bladder is not quite empty, even when you are done urinating. Here at Texas Center for Urology, we can accurately diagnose and treat any problems related to an enlarged prostate.
What is BPH?
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, or BPH, is a condition in which the prostate enlarges as men get older. Over 70% of men in their 60s have BPH symptoms so it is very common 1. While BPH is a benign condition and unrelated to prostate cancer, it can greatly affect a man’s quality of life. The prostate is a male reproductive gland, about the size of a walnut, that produces fluid for semen. The prostate surrounds the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. As the prostate enlarges, it presses on and blocks the urethra, causing bothersome urinary symptoms such as:
- Frequent need to urinate both day and night
- Weak or slow urinary stream
- A sense that you cannot completely empty your bladder
- Difficulty or delay in starting urination
- Urgent feeling of needing to urinate
- A urinary stream that stops and starts
If you suffer from the above symptoms, you are not alone. BPH is one of the leading reasons for men to visit a urologist 1.
Sourced from NeoTract Inc. MAC00181-01 Rev A