June 7th, 2018
Six million men in the United States have enlarged prostates (benign prostatic hyperplasia) or commonly known as BPH. Given the high number of men dealing with this condition, a common question on men’s minds is the link between BPH and prostate cancer.
There are many similarities when it comes to BPH and prostate cancer. In both, the prostate gland expands and gets larger, resulting in similar symptoms. When the prostate enlarges, it puts pressure and squeezes the urethra. This twarts the travel of urine, resulting in the inability to urinate. When dealing with prostate cancer, you normally don’t feel these symptoms until the cancer has grown big enough to create this pressure.
BPH and prostate cancer are very common among men, especially men who are older in age. Those over the age of 50 have a 50% chance of being diagnosed with BPH (1 out of ever 2 men). One out of 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Although similar in symptoms and commonality, the main difference between BPH and prostate cancer is that BPH is benign: it cannot spread. Prostate cancer has the ability to spread to other parts of the body.
New research commissioned by the University of Copenhagen assessed 3.9 million men over a period of 26 years. The research showed that men with BPH were 2 or 3 times more likely to develop prostate cancer. However, they also established that BPH was not the cause or a direct influencer on the development of prostate cancer. What is important to note is that BPH influences the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. This test detects proteins that cause your prostate to grow. Often a PSA test is the primary test done by doctors to see if the prostate has grown.
BPH is not a known risk factor for prostate cancer. However, there are other risk factors that are important to note. This can range from environmental exposures, fitness, diets, medications, or cardiovascular diseases. In order to maintain prostate health and prevent unfavorable health circumstances, be proactive about your prostate. Dr. Elist, a leading urologist in Beverly Hills can help you navigate the best way through this process. Whether if be screenings, testing, or even support, Dr. Elist can help.