An in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Enlarged prostate; BPH
Hyperplasia is a general medical term referring to an abnormal increase in cells. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is noncancerous cell growth of the prostate gland. It is the most common noncancerous form of cell growth in men and usually begins with microscopic nodules in younger men. BPH is not a precancerous condition and does not lead to prostate cancer.
As BPH progresses, it can lead to enlargement of the prostate gland (a condition called benign prostatic enlargement [BPE]). About half of men with BPH go on to develop an enlarged prostate. As the prostate grows, it can squeeze the urinary tube (urethra), causing urinary symptoms. These urinary difficulties are part of a group of symptoms called collectively lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS).
The size of the prostate gland in patients with an enlarged prostate is not always directly related to a patientâ ' s symptoms. Not all men with BPH have LUTS, and not all men with LUTS have BPH. About a third of men with BPH have symptoms that interfere with their quality of life.
Description of the Prostate Gland. The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It wraps around the urethra (the tube that carries urine through the penis).
Functions of the Prostate Gland. The prostate gland provides the following functions:
Changes During the Lifespan. The prostate gland undergoes many changes during the course of a man's life. At birth, the prostate is about the size of a pea. It grows only slightly until puberty, when it begins to enlarge rapidly. It reaches normal adult size and shape, about that of a walnut, when a man is in his early 20s. The gland generally remains stable until about the mid-40s, when, in most men, the prostate begins to grow again through a process of cell multiplication.
The process of urination is more complicated than it appears:
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