Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy

Are there other noncancerous prostate problems?

Yes, aside from BPH, there are a number of prostate problems that also have nothing at all to do with cancer. Among these benign disorders of the prostate are acute prostatitis and chronic prostatitis.

Acute prostatitis is a bacterial infection of the prostate. It can occur in men at any age. Symptoms include fever, chills, and pain in the lower back and between the legs. This problem also can make it hard or painful to urinate. Doctors prescribe antibiotics for acute prostatitis and recommend that the patient drink more liquids. Treatment is usually successful.

Chronic prostatitis is a prostate inflammation that tends to recur over time. It is usually not associated with true bacterial infection but causes similar symptoms of pain and discomfort, without fevers or chills. Chronic prostatitis is difficult to treat, and the exact cause is not well understood. Antibiotics may be used in some cases as well as antiinflammatory medications such as ibuprofen. In many cases, symptoms will resolve on their own.

Can prostate problems be prevented?

The best protection against prostate problems is to have regular medical checkups that include a careful prostate exam. See a doctor promptly if symptoms occur such as

  • a frequent urge to urinate
  • difficulty in urinating
  • dribbling of urine

Regular checkups are important even for men who have had surgery for BPH. BPH surgery does not protect against prostate cancer because only part of the prostate is removed. In all cases, the sooner a doctor finds a problem, the better the chances that treatment will work.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia At A Glance

  • The prostate gland makes a fluid that becomes part of the semen
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) involves enlargement of the prostate gland
  • The prostate enlargement in BPH is not malignant
  • BPH can impede the flow of urine
  • Symptoms include frequent urge to urinate, difficulty urinating and dribbling of urine
  • The treatment of BPH is usually reserved for men with significant symptoms
  • Medical and surgical approaches are available to treat BPH