If you are heading towards your 50s or have already crossed that milestone, you have probably heard of the term “enlarged prostate”. A lot of men worry about this, as they don’t quite know what having an enlarged prostate truly means.
Although the condition is common, there are many misconceptions surrounding prostate enlargement. So here is a list of myths and truths about having an enlarged prostate:
Truth: An enlarged prostate is an increase in prostate size. The medical term is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), and it is not cancer. Most men over 50 develop some form of BPH, with or without experiencing symptoms. If the prostate grows large enough, it can start pressing on the urethra, causing urinary symptoms.
Keeping in mind that prostate cancer can also cause similar symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention if you begin to experience any form of BPH symptoms. However, having BPH does not increase your risks of getting prostate cancer.
Truth: Benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms are similar to other conditions that require immediate medical attention, including cystitis (bladder infection), prostatitis, prostatodynia and prostatic abscess, to name a few.
Even if your symptoms are mild, it is important to seek medical attention. Your doctor will be able to determine if the symptoms you are experiencing are in fact related to BPH. If your BPH is not severe, you may not need treatment. Nevertheless, your doctor will be able to help you find ways to reduce your symptoms.
Truth: Although benign prostatic hyperplasia is highly associated with age, symptoms do not necessarily get more severe as you age. Some men can have very mild symptoms, spending years in watchful waiting, while others need treatment almost immediately after their symptoms appear.
Truth: Although this statement was true years ago, effective, minimally invasive therapies are now available. Most minimally invasive treatments will relieve BPH symptoms without the long term use of medication. These types of therapies will also result in a faster, less painful recovery than traditional open surgery treatments, with fewer risks and side effects.
Your medical practitioner will provide information about the various types of minimally invasive treatments available and if they are right for you.
Truth: Although some BPH treatments can be associated with a risk of erectile dysfunction, many new minimally invasive treatments have demonstrated a reduced risk of such side effects. As an example, the Rezūm Water Vapour Therapy is a minimally invasive treatment that has included no reports of erectile dysfunction in pivotal and retrospective studies.
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