January 23, 2008

Prostate Hyperplasia Symptoms: What Are They?

Virtually every man over the age of 60 will have one of the numerous conditions that affect the prostate gland. Unfortunately many of the conditions exhibit only mild symptoms until they are well developed and so you may not even realise you have a problem.

One of the conditions that affects many men is Prostatic hyperplasia, also known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). This is common in men over the age of 50 and although it is not cancerous, it can cause the same prostate symptoms as prostate cancer.

Prostate hyperplasia symptoms are present in around 90% of men over the age of 80. However unless it causes the prostate gland to become grossly enlarged, the symptoms are relatively mild and attributed to the rigors of old age.

The cause of prostate hyperplasia is not accurately known however it is thought by many researchers and oncologists to be a hormone derived condition. The male hormone testosterone is converted to a secondary hormone called dihydrotestosterone naturally in the body and when this secondary hormone binds with specific receptors in the tissues of the prostate gland, cellular growth and division becomes over-stimulated. Thus the prostate gland becomes enlarged so producing prostate hyperplasia.

Certain families of drugs can be used to reduce the amount of testosterone in the body or to stop the available testosterone from binding with the receptors in the prostate gland. This acts to stop prostate hyperplasia symptoms from developing further and may even reduce the size of the prostate gland over time.

Unfortunately drug therapy for this condition is an ongoing therapy and if diagnosed, you will be required to take drugs daily for the rest of your life.

Prostate hyperplasia symptoms are very similar to those of prostate cancer and so if you notice any of the following symptoms you should visit your family doctor straight away.

* Difficulty urinating
* Urinary leakage
* Pain when urinating
* A feeling of urgency to urinate
* Increased night time urination
* Any other problems associated with urinating

As mentioned above prostate hyperplasia can easily be controlled and treated with simple drug regimes however if the symptoms are due to cancer then more severe treatment will be required. Do not automatically think that a diagnosis of prostate hyperplasia means that cancer is the next step because it is not.

Admittedly some cases of prostate hyperplasia do develop to become cancerous. However, it is possible to control this condition with early and continued treatment. An enlargement of the prostate gland can often be reduced.
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