Prostate enlargement: these are the typical complaints
About every second man over 50 and almost every over 80 years has a benign prostate enlargement. As a rule, enlargement begins at the age of 30. It is a very natural process. This is pointed out by Uro-GmbH Nordrhein, an association of resident urologists. However, only every fifth affected person has to undergo treatment, but without exception everyone should be examined once a year.
In contrast to prostate cancer, which mainly occurs in the outer area of the prostate, the enlargement mainly develops inside. Since the prostate gland is anatomically close to the urethra, it can lead to narrowing and thus to varying degrees of discomfort when urinating. "Sufferers often notice that the urine stream weakens, difficulty starting to urinate and that several attempts are necessary to completely empty the bladder," explains urologist Dr. Reinhold Schaefer from Uro-GmbH North Rhine.
"Further indications for enlargement are increased pressure when urinating, more frequent toilet visits or dripping urine." As the enlargement progresses, residual urine is formed. If urine remains in the bladder, germs settle more easily and the risk of urinary tract infections and kidney stones increases. In the worst case, the prostate enlarges so much that urine accumulation occurs, which can also damage the kidneys.
The visit to the specialist is important in order to differentiate the benign disease from a possible prostate cancer. In addition to a detailed medical history, the doctor also performs a physical exam from the rectum to diagnose an enlarged prostate.
Accompanying urine and blood tests provide information on kidney function and possible bacterial infections. Urine beam measurements, ultrasound examinations and the determination of the PSA value are further important components. If patients are only slightly disturbed by the prostate enlargement, an annual check is sufficient. If the quality of life is significantly reduced, the urologist initiates therapy. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, other diseases and patient wishes, drug or surgical therapies are used. However, an enlarged prostate is often not a problem. (sb, Pm)