Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH is one of the most common ailments faced by men as they age.
In fact, 50% of all men between 50-60 years of age, 75% of men in their seventh decade of life, and 90% of men over 80 will be affected to some extent by changes in their prostate. While not a malignant progress (not cancer), BPH is characterized by increased growth of the prostate gland due to proliferation of the cells of this organ. As the prostate enlarges it compresses the urethra impeding the flow of urine out of the bladder during urination. This leads to the common lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) that bring men with BPH to the doctor.
Interestingly, while the symptoms of BPH can be very disturbing for men, the enlargement of the prostate may not represent a diseased state. In fact, the prostate goes through two cycles of growth, the first at puberty and the second beginning around the age of 25. This second cycle of growth continues for the rest of a man’s life and while some men do not experience symptoms due to this growth cycle, those with BPH can attribute their discomfort to this normal growth cycle.