By Ana Theresa Williams,BSN,RN
BPH is a very common condition found in men. An expert said it has actually something to do with ageing due to the hormonal influence.
Benign prostatic hypertrophy or hyperplasia (BPH) is defined as any increase in the size of the cells. It is simply an enlargement of the prostate gland and benign means not a malignant growth and it is not even a new growth, said General Surgeon Dr. Berthelot Lozada Laolao.
“By anatomy, prostate gland is located at the distal part of the male urinary organ specifically wrapping the urethra. When it enlarges, it compresses the urethra from the outside hence causing symptoms of disturbance in the normal flow of the urine,” the medical expert said.
Dr. Laolao reiterated that BPH is not a premalignant condition and it will never develop into prostate cancer. But, he said when there is prostatic enlargement, it is therefore necessary to rule out prostate cancer since they have almost the same signs and symptoms.
He said prostate cancer is the most common non-skin malignancy in men. It is a slow growing cancer that if treated in the early stage it would give a better chance of survival. The cause of prostate cancer as of to date is still unknown but it is related to genetics, he said.
“Although, the most vulnerable group are those with genetic risks, all males will be at risk in developing health problems related to BPH and this is inevitable.”
Among the common signs and symptoms of BPH are urinary frequency, hesitancy, urgency, slow flow and/or nocturia or the medical term for excessive urination at night. Other signs and symptoms are hematuria (presence of red blood cells or blood in the urine) and urinary retention.
The general surgeon explained that the first line treatment is medical. In medical treatment, it is composed of two group of drugs: one acting to decrease the tone of the prostate gland to decompress the urinary outflow while the other drugs will actually shrink the prostate gland.
And if the medical treatment will not alleviate the symptoms of BPH, he said surgical intervention is indicated. Transurethral resection of the prostate or TURP is the mainstay in the surgical treatment of BPH, he added.
If left untreated, this will lead to complications like stones within the urinary tract, defunctionalized urinary bladder due to chronic distention, and urinary tract infection due to urinary retention.
Finally, Dr. Laolao advises all males ages 50 and above to consult a surgeon specifically a urosurgeon. They should have a regular digital rectal exam done by an expert surgeon. This is the only way to diagnose an emerging disease at an earlier stage. For men with family history of the disease, the earliest surveillance will be at age 40 years old, he said.