Adenoma of the prostate, also called benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH, is an increase in prostate volume, the exclusively male gland located below the bladder, attached to the urethra and producing a fluid involved in the transportation of semen. This phenomenon occurs in men over 50 years of age. It causes a compression of the urethra, resulting in urinary disorders. This is why the evacuation of urine often becomes long and painful. Adenoma also affects the walls of the bladder and urethra resulting in a frequent need to urinate. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is not a precursor of prostate cancer: these two conditions are different.
Symptoms of a prostate adenoma include:
- more frequent need to urinate;
- urgent need to urinate, sometimes leading to accidents;
- dysuria, a difficulty urinating or a difficulty initiating urination;
- a weak urine stream;
- and sometimes erectile dysfunction.
To diagnose an adenoma of the prostate, the doctor performs a digital rectal exam, which is the gold standard for studying the consistency, shape and size of the prostate. Sometimes other tests will be done, including a measuring of the prostate specific antigen, PSA, or prostate biopsies. Difficulties emptying the prostate can be assessed if necessary using a urodynamic assessment, including quantitative and qualitative study of urination.
Adenoma of the prostate cannot be completely cured, but some treatments can reduce the troublesome symptoms that are associated to the disorder. Alpha-blockers reduce urinary difficulties while other drugs have the effect of partially reducing the size of the prostate. Surgical treatment is considered in the most severe cases and involves removal of the adenoma.