Written by Dr.Albana Greca Sejdini, Md, MMedSc
What is an enlarged prostate gland? What causes the prostate gland enlargement? What are the symptoms and treatment options
It is very common for elderly men to have prostate gland enlarged or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) as it is called otherwise. Usually, the prostate gland enlargement can cause urinary symptoms similar to prostatitis symptoms.
Most men whose ages are above 65 years old will suffer from BPH problems , while these problems rarely occur in men younger than 40 years old.
The word benign means non-malignant. Fortunately, BPH is not related to cancer and it doesn’t lead to it. In fact, having an enlarged prostate gland will not increase your susceptibility of developing prostate cancer
It simply means that this enlargement is not cancer, despite the symptoms of BPH and prostate cancers are nearly the same.
“Hyperplasia” stands for abnormal increase in the number of normal cells within a certain tissue or organ.
In conclusion, benign prostatic hyperplasia is a medical term which refers to non-cancerous abnormal cell growth which results in enlargement of prostate gland.
For your information, prostate gland is part of male reproductive system. It is a small gland which has nearly the shape and size of a walnut. It is located in the lower part of your pelvis, just beneath the urinary bladder, in front of your rectum.
The main function of the prostate gland is to help in production of semen. Semen is the milky fluid which nourishes and carries the sperms from the testacies via the penis during ejaculation (orgasm).
Also, prostate gland surrounds part of your urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from your bladder and through the penis to out of your body.
Generally, the prostate gland has a tendency to grow larger with aging. This means that as you are getting older; your prostate gland is getting bigger in size.
If you are in your 20s, your prostate gland is in the size of walnut. By the time you are in 40s, prostate will be slightly bigger, nearly to apricot size. When you reach your 60s, it may have grown to the size of a lemon.
Usually, the enlarged prostate gland tends to exert pressure against the urinary bladder, besides squeezing the urethra as well. This will result in slowing down or even stopping the flow of urine.
It can cause the urine to go back to the bladder (urinary retention). You might find difficulty in starting urine stream, despite you feel the need to go.
Furthermore, it will be hard to stop urine stream once it has started. You will have pain while urination due to continuous pressure exerted on your bladder by enlarged prostate.
The signals coming from your bladder to your brain always denotes that your bladder is full, so you will have the feeling like you need to pass urine all the time.
You might be awakened more than once during your sleep with the urgent sudden need to urinate. But don’t worry, the early symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland might take several years to become a bothersome problem.
Remember: You will need to see your doctor if you have some or all of the following symptoms:
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