When to See A Urologist about Enlarged Prostate (BPH)
The signs and symptoms of an enlarged prostate become more evident as a man ages. An enlargement of the prostate can signal Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) – a noncancerous, but bothersome condition that affects more than half of men in their 50s and up to 90% of men in their 70s and 80s.1,2 However, the severity of these symptoms does not necessarily correlate with the severity of the enlargement of the prostate. In fact, many men who have serious enlargement of the prostate may only have mild symptoms and vice versa. That means that it is advisable for men who experience urinary symptoms to see their urologist early.
Attention to these problems may help avoid serious interference in their lifestyle, such as the often embarrassing urgency and frequency of urination. A proactive physician visit may also allow for early diagnosis or even prevention of a more serious prostatic condition. LUTS can be a sign of prostatitis (an infection of the prostate) or even prostate cancer. Most men experiencing urinary symptoms or over the age of 50 will benefit from regular prostate exams.
Visiting a urologist at the earliest stages of enlargement has the following benefits:
- It can rule out prostate cancer. While generally a slow-growing cancer, it should be diagnosed as soon as possible to allow for the widest range of treatment options.
- If the diagnosis returns as BPH, catching and treating a benign enlargement sooner rather than later, may avoid some of the most common interferences with a man’s lifestyle.
- An early diagnosis can open up the possibility for less invasive, long-term and effective treatments. As BPH progresses, treatment options may become more limited.
We encourage men to appropriately prioritize their annual screening. If you do develop an enlarged prostate, it is recommended that you find a qualified urologist who offers a wide range of treatment options no matter the diagnosis. You may use our Urologist Finder to locate a qualified urologist in your area to understand more about the treatment options for your specific medical condition.
1 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Prostate enlargement: benign prostatic hyperplasia. NIH Publication No. 07-3012. June 2006.
2 Carter HB. Prostate Disorders: The Johns Hopkins White Papers. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Medicine; 2013:1-25.