Enlarged Prostate (BPH) & Prostate Cancer: What’s the Difference?

What Is An Enlarged Prostate (BPH)?

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), also known as enlarged prostate, is a common condition amongst older men. This condition, as its name suggests, affects the prostate, a walnut-sized part of the male reproductive system. The prostate surrounds part of your urethra, which carries urine and semen out of the penis. When affected by BPH, your prostate is larger than usual, which squeezes the uthera, and can cause uncomfortable urinary symptoms.

BPH Symptoms

The most common BPH symptoms include:

  • Frequent or urgent need to urinate.
  • Increased frequency of urination at night (nocturia).
  • Difficulty starting urination.
  • Weak urine stream or a stream that stops and starts.
  • Dribbling at the end of urination.
  • Inability to completely empty the bladder.

What Is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer, in simple terms, is a cancer that grows in the prostate and is one of the most common types of cancer in older Canadian men. Although prostate cancer usually grows slowly, it is best to detect it early on because it can often be completely removed or successfully managed before it spreads outside of the prostate. The 5-year relative survival rate for prostate cancer that hasn’t spread, or has spread only to nearby areas, is 99%.

Prostate Cancer Symptoms

The most common prostate cancer symptoms include:

  • Trouble urinating.
  • Decreased force in the stream of urine.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Blood in the semen.
  • Bone pain.
  • Loss of weight without trying.
  • Erectile dysfunction.

How Do They Differ?

Now comes the answer to the question you have all been waiting for: What is the difference between BPH and prostate cancer? Although they seem quite similar, in very brief terms, they differ in the way they spread. BPH does not spread to other parts of the body as it is not a cancer, nor does it increase your chances of getting prostate cancer. Additionally, they are caused by very different factors. BPH is most commonly caused by changes in male sex hormones that come with aging. On the other hand, prostate cancer can surface due to the following:

  • Family history
  • Age
  • Race
  • Diet
  • Genetics & mutations in your DNA
  • Geographical location & exposure to environmental toxins

Hopefully, the air has somewhat been cleared as to what the difference is between these two medical conditions that affect the prostate.

Although, if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is always safe to give us a call so we can help you as best as possible.