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Why Bother About My Prostate?

Questions About Your Prostate.

Christopher Vulin, MD, urologist

What is an enlarged prostate?

Prostate gland enlargement, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostatic hypertrophy, is a common condi­tion men develop as they get older.

What symptoms are most troublesome?

BPH can cause a number of urinary symp­toms. These include, slowing of urine stream, nighttime urination, straining to urinate, incontinence, feeling of in­complete emptying, etc. If untreated, prostate gland enlargement can block the flow of urine out of the bladder and can cause bladder or kidney problems.

There are multiple effective treatments for BPH, including medications, lifestyle/ behavioral changes and possibly surgery.

Will these symptoms get worse?

The prostate will grow during a man’s life. As it grows, the symptoms of BPH can become more pronounced. BPH rarely causes symptoms before age 40, but by the 60s, half will note bothersome symptoms. Ninety percent of men older than 70 likely have BPH symptoms.

Why should I bother about my prostate?

One-in-four men with BPH symptoms (more than 350,000 U.S. men each year) will require treatment. Many re­quire more than one treatment in order to relieve the urinary obstruction BPH causes. And BPH is not the only problem the prostate can cause. Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in America, affecting one-in-six men.

Questions About Your Prostate.I encourage men to be proactive in their health. This includes talking to their physician about the way they are urinat­ing, and receiving routine screenings for prostate cancer (annual digital rectal exam and PSA testing). 

Christopher Vulin, MD, is board-certified in urology and on staff at Missouri Baptist Medical Center. He earned his medical de¬gree from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and completed his internship and residency at Washington University School of Medicine.

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