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How Does BPH Differ from Prostate Cancer?

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One of the most common questions people ask about benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is whether BPH is the same as prostate cancer. The answer is no, and it is also important to know that BPH does not increase a man's chances of developing prostate cancer. The primary difference between BPH and prostate cancer is simply that BPH is the benign enlargement of the prostate, while prostate cancer is a malignant condition associated with cancer cell/tumor growth.

Still, there is some symptom overlap between BPH and prostate cancer, which makes it even more critical to have regular prostate exams to better understand what may be causing your symptoms. At Kasraeian Urology in Jacksonville, FL, board-certified urologists Drs. Ahmad and Ali Kasraeian specialize in diagnosing and treating even the most complex urologic conditions, including BPH and prostate cancer, with advanced techniques and cutting-edge technologies. Take a closer look at the differences between prostate cancer and BPH here, including symptoms, treatment options, and more.

Is BPH considered cancer?

No. BPH refers to the benign or medically harmless enlargement of the male prostate gland. BPH is not prostate cancer and does not increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. However, BPH can still be highly disruptive to a man's everyday life. Not only that, but many risk factors for BPH are also risk factors for prostate cancer. With that in mind, keeping your BPH risk factors low can reduce your risk of developing either condition.

What are the risk factors for BPH?

While BPH can affect almost any man, the primary BPH risk factors include:

  • Age
  • Genetics
  • Obesity
  • Diet/lifestyle

Prostate cancer risk factors include:

  • Age
  • Genetics
  • Obesity
  • Diet/lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Ethnicity

What are the symptoms of BPH vs. prostate cancer?

Another key difference between BPH and prostate cancer is that most men with BPH experience some level of symptoms, while many men with prostate cancer experience no symptoms until the disease progresses to its later stages. Some of the hallmark signs and symptoms of BPH include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Straining to void
  • Spraying urinary stream
  • Weak urinary stream
  • Incontinence (leaking urine)
  • Urgency
  • Constant feeling of needing to void
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)

When present, prostate cancer symptoms may include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Straining to void
  • Burning or painful urination
  • Pain in the lower back, upper thigh, hip, or pelvic area
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased appetite
  • Blood in the urine

Again, because some of the symptoms of prostate cancer are similar to BPH symptoms, men should undergo regular prostate cancer screening and urologic exams as recommended by Dr. Kasraeian. When detected early, prostate cancer can be highly treatable. Additionally, BPH symptoms can often be managed with simple lifestyle changes, medications, or minimally invasive procedures.

How is BPH treated?

Based on your symptoms, the severity of your condition, your overall health, and other factors, Dr. Kasraeian will recommend the most appropriate BPH treatment plan for you, which may include:

For men with prostate cancer, a personalized treatment plan will also be developed that aligns with the specifics of the patient's case. Drs. Kasraeian are proud to utilize the most advanced and modern techniques and technologies available today for the treatment of prostate cancer, including:

By paying attention to your prostate symptoms, having your PSA and/or another prostate cancer screening regularly, and following your doctor's screening guidelines, you can increase your chances of detecting prostate cancer, if present, as early as possible.

Concerning urinary symptoms? Call our board-certified urologists in Jacksonville, FL today

Fortunately, many cases of frequent urination or changes in your urinary habits may be related to BPH, a harmless albeit frustrating condition. However, urinary symptoms may also occur in men with prostate cancer and should never be ignored. If you have developed symptoms of BPH or prostate cancer, or if you are simply interested in knowing when you should start being screened for prostate cancer, don't hesitate to call us at Kasraeian Urology to schedule your consultation with Jacksonville, FL board-certified urologists Dr. Ahmad Kasraeian or Dr. Ali Kasraeian today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.