BPH affects millions of men, significantly disrupts quality of life

Dec 04, 2015, 03:10 ET from Dr. David Samadi

NEW YORK, Dec. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia, is a condition of the prostate that many men develop with age. When men get older, the prostate gland often becomes enlarged. An enlarged prostate can put pressure on the urethra which makes it difficult to urinate. By age 60, more than half of men have BPH. By age 85, about 90 percent of men have BPH, but only about 30 percent will have symptoms.

Men are at a higher risk for BPH if they are overweight or obese (especially in the abdomen), consume a poor diet, do not get much physical inactivity, smoke, and drink a lot of alcohol. The risk of BPH increases every year after age 40. About 25% of men with BPH will eventually need treatment to help relieve symptoms caused by the condition which often affect a man's quality of life.

Many of the signs and symptoms of BPH are urinary related. This is due to the fact that once the prostate becomes enlarged, it puts pressure on the urethra, decreasing the urinary flow. The signs and symptoms of BPH include:

  • Urinary urgency
  • Frequent urination
  • Dripping and leaking after urination
  • Straining to urinate
  • Waking up often at night to urinate
  • A weak or slow urinary stream
  • Incomplete emptying of the bladder
  • A urinary stream that starts and stops

According to Dr. Samadi, "These symptoms can't be ignored. In some cases, they're a signal of prostate cancer. But men don't have to panic. BPH and prostate cancer are not one in the same. BPH is very common and surgical treatment works."

Another indicator that you may have BPH is an elevated PSA. However, having an elevated PSA does not confirm that you have BPH. There are other reasons as to why your PSA may be elevated such as prostate cancer, urinary tract infection, prostatitis, age, after having sex, or having certain medical procedures or exams.

What causes BPH? Unfortunately, we do not know what the exact cause of BPH is. We do know that age and testosterone are associated with the condition. BPH is confirmed through urinalysis, PSA blood testing, and rectal exam.

BPH progresses rather slowly over the course of a number of years. The decision to have it treated is often made by the patient when the symptoms of the condition are interfering with his life. Other times, the symptoms can be severe enough to require immediate treatment. Treatment for BPH depends on the severity of your symptoms. The most common treatment options include watchful waiting, prescription medications, and a surgical procedure called a Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP). If medication does not prove to be successful, the next best option is a TURP.

"There are medications available to treat BPH in its early stages," says Dr. Samadi, "but often men with severe BPH require surgery for true symptom relief. Both TURP and PVP offer highly safe and effective recovery options. I encourage men with BPH-like symptoms to seek diagnosis and explore treatment with an experienced prostate surgeon."

Patients who think they may be suffering from BPH, have recently been diagnosed with BPH, or have not had any success treating BPH with medication and may need a TURP, please contact world renowned prostate cancer surgeon and urologic oncologist, Dr. David Samadi. Call 212.365.5000 to set up your consultation.

SOURCE Dr. David Samadi