Prostatic hypertrophy, benign (BPH)
: Nonmalignant (noncancerous) enlargement of the prostate gland, a common occurrence in older men. It is also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (also abbreviated as BPH). BPH generally begins in a man's 30s, evolves slowly and only causes symptoms after 50. In BPH the normal elements of the prostate gland grow in size and number. Their sheer bulk may compress the urethra which courses through the center of the prostate and impede the flow of urine from the bladder through the urethra to the outside. This leads to urine retention and the need for frequent urination. If severe enough, complete blockage can occur. BPH is very common. Half of men over 50 develop symptoms of PBH, but only 10% need medical or surgical intervention. BPH is completely benign. It is not a precursor (a forerunner) to prostate cancer. Treatment of BPH is usually reserved for men with significant symptoms. Watchful waiting with medical monitoring once a year is appropriate for most men with BPH. Medical therapy of BPH includes drugs such as finasteride and terazosin. The prostate enlargement in BPH is directly dependent on DHT, the principal androgen hormone in the prostate. Finasteride (PROSCAR) blocks the enzyme needed to make DHT and so lowers blood and tissue DHT levels and helps reduce the size of the prostate. Terazosin (HYTRIN) belongs to a class of medications called alpha 1 blockers which relaxes the smooth muscles of the arteries, the prostate, and the bladder neck. Relaxing the smooth muscles of the arteries lowers blood pressure. Relaxing the smooth muscles around the bladder neck helps relieve urinary obstruction caused by an enlarged prostate in BPH. Prostate surgery has traditionally been seen as offering the most benefits for BPH and, unfortunately, the most risks. BPH is also known as nodular hyperplasia of the prostate.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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