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Enlarged Prostate

With age, the volume of the prostate gland naturally increases. In fact, it is estimated that about two out of three men suffering from urinary disorders associated with enlarged prostate (also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH) after age 50. Part of men’s reproductive system, the prostate is a gland located below the bladder and traversed the urethra, the tube that carries urine to the outside; therefore, enlarged prostate tends to increase urinary problems. A simple enlargement of the prostate does not mean you have prostate disease. In fact, having enlarged prostate when you get older is like having white hair when you reach high-age; it is quite natural. The percentage of men suffering from enlarged prostate can be approximately:  

  • 60% of men 60 years 
  • 70% of men 70 years 
  • 80% of men 80 years. 

Prostate cancer is becoming so popular that any medical condition affecting the prostate gland is reminiscent of prostate cancer.  However, it should not be confused prostate cancer with enlarged prostate which is a benign (non-cancerous) natural age-related disease. An enlargement in the prostate gland has nothing to do with prostate cancer which is a malignant tumor. In addition, even if you have been diagnosed with enlarged prostate, you have nothing to fear; it does not degenerate into cancer. These two diseases are totally different and no have relation. Adenoma (benign tumor ) grows more in the central part of the prostate, while cancer develops in the peripheral zone. However, it may happen that you develop both types of tumors - malignant and nonmalignant - at the same time.


If you are diagnosed with enlarged prostate, your urologist may perform a medical exam, once a year to monitor the prostate gland. This simple monitoring is recommended when the prostate is not too big and it does not prevent the bladder from emptying properly. If you have urinary problems, you may also be recommended to take daily medication to alleviate the symptoms. There are three classes of drugs that may be prescribed alone or in combination to treat enlarged prostate:  

  • Plant extracts - some plant extracts such as saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) and Pygeum (Pygeum africanum) are often used to treat symptoms of enlarged prostate. These drugs are well tolerated and have little or no side effects; 
  • Alpha blockers - Alpha-blockers are a group of drugs that affect muscle tone and attack the contractions responsible for urinary obstruction. Their therapeutic reactions are very quickly felt; however, they can cause side effects such as dizziness and sometimes sexual dysfunction
  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors - this group of drugs tends to deflate the prostate gland, and can, in about 50% of patients, lead to a volume reduction of 20%. However, they are often associated with sexual disorders.

Surgery is rarely used in the treatment of enlarged prostate. However, your doctor may consider surgery if: the bladder does not empty completely (residual urine), the bladder is completely blocked, or when drugs are ineffective. One of the two surgical techniques can be performed, depending on the size of the prostate gland: 

  • Transurethral Resectionof the Prostate (TURP) – this surgical procedure is account for about 90 percent of all enlarged prostate surgeries. During the procedure, an instrument is inserted up to the urethra to remove extra prostate tissue. TURP is also used to remove cancer tissue from the bladder. 
  • Transurethral Incision of the Prostate (TUIP) – this operation involves removing diseased tissue through small incisions previously made by the surgeon. TUIP helps to decrease resistance to the flow of urine out of the bladder.  It is indicated when the prostate is too big to be treated with other alternatives. Transurethral Incision of the Prostate (TUIP) is now very well controlled, but it requires hospital stay. 
prostate control