Benign prostate enlargement (BPE) is a common condition in men over 50 years of age. It is not a cancer and usually does not pose a serious health threat. BPE, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPO), is an enlargement of the prostate that is not cancerous. The healthcare provider can use a test to determine if the prostate is enlarged or tender or has any abnormalities that require further testing.
High levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) can be caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostate infections, inflammation, aging, and normal fluctuations. Medications can help prevent the progression of prostate growth or even reduce its size in some men. Symptoms of BPE can also indicate more serious conditions, such as prostate cancer. If you have any of the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, contact Cleveland Urology Associates at (440) 891-6500 or request an appointment online.
Problems can arise when treatments for BPE leave a good part of the prostate intact. The degree of prostate enlargement does not necessarily correlate with the severity of symptoms. To understand if prostate enlargement is dangerous to your health, read on for more information. Finasteride and dutasteride work more slowly than alpha-blockers and are only useful for moderate prostate enlargement.
Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is the most common surgery for BPE and is considered the gold standard for treating urethral obstruction due to BPE. Men with risk factors for BPE should talk to a healthcare provider about any lower urinary tract symptoms and about the need for regular prostate exams. For more information on advances in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate diseases, read the Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases. A person may have urinary symptoms unrelated to BPE caused by bladder problems, urinary infections, or prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate).
Men may need additional treatment if prostate problems return, including BPE. Much remains unknown about how to interpret a PSA blood test, its ability to discriminate between cancer and prostate diseases such as BPE, and what is the best course of action to follow if the PSA level is high.