Pune Institute Of Nephro Urology(PINU), Pune

Discovering that you have a symptom of prostate cancer can be frightening. However, its diagnosis is not as simple as you might think. In fact, several signs and symptoms of prostate cancer overlap with other ailments, such as benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). Both conditions are quite common worldwide. But is there a link between enlarged prostate and prostate cancer?

What is the link between enlarged prostate and prostate cancer?

As we go through life, our bodies go through various changes – some normal and some abnormal. However, not all abnormal changes in the prostate indicate cancer. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide. Prostate enlargement is very common in men over the age of 50, with nearly 70% of men experiencing it at some point. These two conditions often have overlapping symptoms, which can make it difficult to understand what is going on.

What are enlarged prostate and prostate cancer?

Prostate enlargement (BPH) and prostate cancer are both conditions that cause the prostate to grow. BPH mainly affects older men over the age of 50, but it can begin developing in a man as young as 40. Prostate cancer can affect any man at any age and leads to the growth and spread of cancer cells in the prostate.

Symptoms: BPH vs prostate cancer

The symptoms of both prostate cancer and enlargement of the prostate are identical. Prostate enlargement and prostate cancer have the following common symptoms:

  • Increased urogenital compulsion
  • A persistent urge to urinate
  • Difficulty starting to urinate 
  • A weak stream of urination 
  • Inability to totally empty the bladder

Causes: BPH vs prostate cancer

While the precise cause of prostate BPH is still unknown, it is believed to be linked to aging. As a man gets older, his hormone levels change, which can lead to an enlarged prostate.

In contrast, prostate cancer is caused by DNA changes that cause cancer cells to multiply abnormally in the prostate.

Risk factors: BPH vs prostate cancer

Being overweight has been linked with increased risk of both BPH and prostate cancer. Another risk factor that has been common between enlarged prostate and prostate cancer is family history of the disease.

If there is a person in your family who has had to live with BPH or prostate cancer, your chances of developing the same ailments increases significantly.

Diagnosis: BPH vs prostate cancer

Prostate-specific Antigen (PSA) testing and digital rectal exams are two common ways to diagnose issues with the prostate gland. The PSA test checks for increased levels of PSA protein, which could be indicative of BPH or cancer.

The digital rectal exam allows the doctor to assess the prostate’s condition. Based on these tests and your overall health, your healthcare provider may order additional tests to confirm the diagnosis.

Tests for BPH may include a urinary flow test or a post-void residual test, while tests for prostate cancer could include an ultrasound, a biopsy, or other procedures.

Treatment: BPH vs prostate cancer

The treatments for prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) are unique. Prostate cancer is treated with a multidisciplinary approach that is usually more extensive. The goal of cancer treatment is to destroy the cancer cells and stop them from growing further.

Prostate cancer treatment can be a long and complicated process. There are many different options available, and the decision of which to choose can be difficult. Surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy are all possible treatments for prostate cancer. The side effects and risks of each treatment must be considered before making a decision.

Prostate enlargement is a tricky beast, however there are surgical and non-surgical means to shrinking the prostate back to its size and relieving symptoms.

The prostate is a gland that can enlarge with age, and this can lead to issues like difficulty urinating. There are various treatments available that aim to reduce the size of the prostate or alleviate symptoms, including medicinal use, active surveillance, and surgical intervention.

The link between BPH and prostate cancer

  • Both of them experience bothersome urine issues.
  • These two conditions both impact elderly males.
  • Obesity and illness history in the family are both frequent risk factors
  • Both disorders are initially diagnosed with the PSA test and a digital rectal exam.

What is the difference between enlarged prostate and prostate cancer?

The name of BPH present in enlarged prostate and prostate cancer is the primary difference.

BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia, is a medical term for a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. This growth of the prostate gland does not involve cancer cells.

The two conditions may look similar at a glance, but that doesn’t mean that an enlarged prostate necessarily points to cancer. In fact, the abnormal enlargement of the prostate gland is usually the result of changing hormones rather than cancer.

What is the enlarged prostate cancer risk?

Prostate enlargement does not cause cancer. The claim that an enlarged prostate leads to an increased risk of cancer is myth.

If you have been diagnosed with BPH, it is important to know that your risks of developing prostate cancer are not affected. Both conditions are managed differently and are not interrelated when it comes to risks.

Although obesity is a factor that contributes to both erectile dysfunction and prostate cancer, there are many other health risks associated with being overweight.

The concluding note

The link between enlarged prostate and prostate cancer is well established. They do have several uniformities, nevertheless, prostate enlargement does not lead to cancer.

You can learn more about the health of your prostate at the Pune Institute of Nephro Urology.