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Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia E-mail
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Prostate cancer isn't the only condition of which to be aware this Prostate Health Month, according to expert urologists from the American Urological Association. One extremely common non-cancerous condition, particularly in older men, is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). In fact, BPH affects half of all men between the ages of 51 and 60, and can affect up to 90 percent of men over the age of 80.

The major symptoms of BPH, including frequent urination, urinating several times at night or difficulty urinating (weak stream, dribbling or the need to push or strain) may seem to be a normal part of aging. However, these symptoms are treatable and, if ignored, can lead to life-threatening complications. In the majority of men, BPH is a progressive disease. It can lead to bladder damage, infection, blood in the urine, and even kidney damage if left untreated. A man should see a doctor immediately if he has: blood in the urine, pain with urination, burning with urination or is unable to urinate.

Several treatment options are available for men with BPH. Patients should speak to their doctors in order to determine which treatment option is most appropriate for them. Treatments include watchful waiting, medications, the insertion of prostatic stents to open the urethra, or minimally invasive surgical therapies. Don't suffer in silence: seek expert medical advice.

During this important month and throughout the year, the AUA can provide information, statistics and expert commentary on subjects related to prostate health. The AUA can assist in developing related story topics on prostate health, such as:
  • What is BPH/enlarged prostate? How is it treated?
  • What is prostatitis? How is it treated?
  • Robot-assisted prostatectomy - the latest technology
  • New techniques and technology to treat prostate cancer
  • When should men have a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test to screen for prostate cancer?
  • What is active surveillance and when is it appropriate?
  • Treatment options for prostate cancer and what patients should know about each

Please contact Lacey Holt at 410-689-4054 to schedule an interview with one of the following experts:

  • Christopher Amling, MD, Professor and Director, Division of Urology, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

J. Brantley Thrasher, MD, FACS, Professor and William L. Valk Chair, Department of Urology and the Co-Director of Operative Services at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, KS.

For more information on common prostate conditions or to find a urologist or a free or low-cost prostate cancer screening near you, please visit

About the American Urological Association: Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is the pre-eminent professional organization for urologists, with more than 16,000 members throughout the world. An educational nonprofit organization, the AUA pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care by carrying out a wide variety of programs for members and their patients, including, an award-winning on-line patient education resource, and the American rological Association Foundation, Inc.

About Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is a disease in which cancer develops in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. It occurs when cells of the prostate mutate and begin to multiply out of control. These cells may spread (metastasize) from the prostate to other parts of the body, especially the bones and lymph nodes.

Many factors, including genetics and diet, have been implicated in the development of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer develops most frequently in men over fifty. This cancer can occur only in men, as the prostate is exclusively of the male reproductive tract. It is the most common type of cancer in men in the United States, where it is responsible for more male deaths than any other cancer, except lung cancer.

Early prostate cancer usually causes no symptoms.  Many men who develop prostate cancer never have symptoms, undergo no therapy, and eventually die of other causes. Often it is diagnosed during the workup for an elevated PSA noticed during a routine checkup.

Sometimes, however, prostate cancer does cause symptoms, often similar to those of diseases such as benign prostatic hypertrophy. These symptoms may include:

  • difficulty starting and maintaining a steady stream of urine,
  • frequent urination,
  • increased urination at night,
  • blood in the urine,
  • painful urination and
  • erectile dysfunction

Advanced prostate cancer can spread to other parts of the body and this may cause additional symptoms. The most common symptom being bone pain, often in vertebrae (bones of the spine), pelvis or ribs. Spread of cancer into other bones such as the femur is usually to the proximal part of the bone. Prostate cancer in the spine can also compress the spinal cord, causing leg weakness and urinary and fecal incontinence.

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