BPH; Benign prostatic hypertrophy (hyperplasia); Prostate - enlarged
The prostate is a male reproductive gland that produces the fluid that carries sperm during ejaculation. It surrounds the urethra, the tube through which urine passes out of the body.
An enlarged prostate means the gland has grown bigger. Prostate enlargement happens to almost all men as they get older. As the gland grows, it can press on the urethra and cause urination and bladder problems.
An enlarged prostate is often called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or benign prostatic hypertrophy. It is not cancer, and it does not raise your risk for prostate cancer.
The actual cause of prostate enlargement is unknown. Factors linked to aging and the testicles themselves may play a role in the growth of the gland. Men who have had their testicles removed at a young age (for example, as a result of testicular cancer) do not develop BPH.
Similarly, if the testicles are removed after a man develops BPH, the prostate begins to shrink in size.
Some facts about prostate enlargement:
Bent S, Kane C, Shinohara K, et al. Saw palmetto for benign prostatic hyperplasia. NEJM. 2006;354:557-566.
Abrams P, Chapple C, Khoury S, Roehrborn C, de la Rosette J; International Scientific Committee. Evaluation and treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms in older men. J Urol. 2009;181:1779-1787.
Kirby R, Lepor H. Evaluation and nonsurgical management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Novick AC, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 87.
Lourenco T, Pickard R, Vale L, Grant A, Fraser C, MacLennan G, et al. Minimally invasive treatments for benign prostatic enlargement: systematic review of randomised clinical trials. BMJ. 2008;337:a1662.
Roehrborn CG, McConnell JD. Benign prostatic hyperplasia: etiology, pathophysiology, epidemiology, and natural history. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Novick AC, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 86.
Rich KT, Safranek S. PPIN's clinical inquiries: medical treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Am Fam Physician. 2008;77:665-666.
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