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What’s The Difference Between BPH And Prostate Cancer?

What’s the difference between BPH and prostate cancer? The most important difference is that BPH, or an enlarged prostate gland, is not cancerous. It doesn’t mean you won’t ever get prostate cancer, but an enlarged prostate is a common condition as men get older. Let’s explain further.

Man wearing blue shirt holding prostate cancer ribbon.

BPH Explained

BPH stands for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, but is also known as an enlarged prostate.

The prostate is part of a man’s reproductive system. It is a small gland located under a man’s bladder, in front of the rectum, and it wraps around the urethra. Its purpose is to make the fluid part of semen.

It is an extremely common condition with 50% of men developing an enlarged prostate by their fifties. Because the prostate gets larger as a man gets older, it can squeeze the urethra causing trouble passing urine leading to uncomfortable and frustrating symptoms.

Common Symptoms Of BPH

Some men begin to have symptoms in their 30s and 40s, and others do not experience symptoms until they are older.

Symptoms include the following:

  • Passing urine more during the day
  • Needing to get up multiple time during sleep to pass urine
  • Having a urgent need to urinate
  • Urine flow becomes weaker
  • Burning sensation when urinating
  • Feeling like your bladder is never empty

Worst case scenario is BPH can lead to a weak bladder, back flow of urine causing bladder or kidney infections, and it can cause kidney failure.

Speak to Dr. Steven Gange in Salt Lake City, UT if you are experiencing these symptoms and discuss treatments to relieve the symptoms. It cannot be cured, but you can live your life without the urinary issues.

In case you were wondering, having BPH does not cause prostate cancer.

Prostate Cancer And Its Symptoms

It may take a while for any symptoms of prostate cancer to be noticed. It is a slow-growing cancer and can take decades for cancer cells to grow and cause symptoms. It remains silent until the cancer begins to spread.

The other disconcerting fact is so many of the symptoms mirror those for BPH.

In addition to the above symptoms for BPH, look for the following symptoms of prostate cancer:

  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Painful ejaculations
  • Nagging pain in the back, hips, or pelvis
  • Pain when passing urine
  • Difficulty having an erection

Talk with Dr. Steven Gange about screening for prostate cancer. This is a way to test for cancer before you have any symptoms. It is important to have a discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of screening. Based on your personal risk factors, your physician may decide to watch and wait.

Schedule a Consultation BPH or prostate cancer in Salt Lake City

Contact Dr. Steven Gange, a urologist in Salt Lake City at (801) 993-1800 if you are having any symptoms of BPH or prostate cancer. Dr. Gange has over 25 years of clinical and research experience.
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I have seen Dr. Gange for a number of years and developed the typical symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate. During my annual urologist visit, Dr. Gange laid out my options. After doing some personal research, I elected to have the Urolift procedure performed by Dr. Gange on an outpatient basis.

The procedure was uncomfortable but not particularly painful compared to other surgeries I have had. Recovery was relatively quick and I was back at work after two days of rest.

I did experience some significant discomfort associated with urination but was counseled that I was not drinking enough water. Once I increased my consumption of water, most of the discomfort went away and I was back to normal after about two weeks.

In the wake of the surgery, the urgency to urinate has gone away. The interval between trips to the bathroom has lengthened significantly such that I usually get up to urinate only once each night and sometimes not at all.

Having talked with others who have had more drastic prostate surgery, I feel that the Urolift procedure was much less stressful and the results were as hoped for.