Prostate gland enlargement is a medical condition that occurs when the prostate gland grows abnormally, resulting in the blockage or slowdown of the urine stream. Other names by which prostate gland enlargement is known to include benign prostatic hyperplasia, benign prostatic hypertrophy, and an enlarged prostate.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia only occurs in men. More than eight percent of men between the ages of 31 and 40 suffer from prostate gland enlargement. Advanced aging predisposes to an increased risk of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia. Not all men with enlarged prostates experience symptoms. For symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia, the most common symptoms include urinary frequency, urinary hesitancy, urinary incontinence, post-micturition dribble, and a wake urine stream. These symptoms are collectively known as lower urinary tract symptoms.
Diagnostic examinations that confirm the presence of prostate gland enlargement include a rectal examination, urinalysis, and a blood test to check for prostate-specific antigens. Although prostate gland enlargement is untreatable, there are various approaches to manage the condition effectively. Men with benign prostatic hyperplasia do not increase a man’s risk for prostate cancer. It is, however, crucial to remember that an individual may simultaneously suffer from benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer. Listed below are the most common causes of an enlarged prostate.
Men with a history of benign prostatic hyperplasia in their family are more likely to have an impaired peak urinary flow rate. Furthermore, studies reveal that men with a known family history of prostate gland enlargement are at an increased risk of developing lower urinary tract symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia.
While no definitive genes are identified to cause prostate gland enlargement, a family history of benign prostatic hyperplasia and molecular abnormalities may increase one’s likelihood of developing the condition early in life.
It is, therefore, crucial for men over the age of 30 to undergo screening to determine whether they are at risk of developing an enlarged prostate later in life. In addition, recognizing the association between family history and enlarged prostate prevalence can help men to consider taking early interventions to reduce their likelihood of developing an enlarged prostate in the future.
Although prostate gland enlargement is a non-malignant condition of the prostate, men must undergo a prostate exam once they reach the age of 50. This will help diagnose early-onset benign prostatic hyperplasia, making it easier to manage over time.