Enlarged Prostate (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia)
If a man develops any of the symptoms below, he should see a doctor without delay in order to:
- Be sure there is no cancer associated with an enlarged prostate, and
- Get treatment before there is long-term damage from obstruction of his urethra.
Symptoms of Enlarged Prostate
- frequent urination
- difficulty in starting to urinate
- incomplete urination
- more frequent urination at night
- dribbling at the end of urination
- passing less urine
- blood in the urine (from straining and breaking small veins)
- lower abdominal pain
- burning on urination (because of bladder infection)
- incontinence (inability to control urination) because of the bladder overfilling
Even if there is cancer associated with an enlarged prostate, if the diagnosis is made early treatment can be effective.
The basic initial screening evaluation for cancer of the prostate consists of:
- A physical examination, which includes feeling the prostate during a rectal examination with the finger (called a digital rectal examination). During the rectal examination, the doctor feels for nodules and tenderness (from possible infection), and
- A blood test for prostate-specific antigen or PSA.
Since many men who have enlarged prostates without cancer also have elevated PSA levels, further evaluation may still be necessary. While a variety of treatments are available for benign prostatic hyperplasia, surgery is generally most effective. The long-term results of laser surgery as an alternative to traditional surgery are not yet known.