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Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) and PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test

 For some fortunate men, the size of their prostate does not change. Unfortunately, about 75% of men over 50 years of age have measurable enlargement of the prostate. This condition is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It reduces a man’s ability to control his urination, and if not properly cared for, can lead to serious problems.

 
Growth of prostate tissue is stimulated by dihydrotestosterone, a male hormone. As long as this hormone is present, the prostate will keep enlarging. As the prostate enlarges, the layer of tissue surrounding it prevents it from expanding, causing the gland to press against the urethra, like a clamp on a garden hose.
 
The bladder wall then becomes thicker and irritable. The bladder begins to contract even when it contains small amounts of urine, causing more frequent urination.
 
Eventually, the bladder weakens and loses the ability to empty itself. Urine remains in the bladder, which leads to incomplete emptying of the bladder sensation.
 
The narrowing of the urethra and partial emptying of the bladder causes many of the problems associated with BPH.
 
The best thing we can say about BPH is, it’s not cancer. To make sure that point is clear, BPH has nothing to do with cancer of the prostate. However, BPH does seriously interfere with the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test.
 
The PSA is a blood test that measures the level of a protein known as prostate-specific antigen. While elevated PSA levels may indicate prostate cancer, these PSA scores can also be the result of BPH, prostatitis and other conditions.
 
In any event, consider an elevated PSA an early detection or warning sign.
 
PSA is measured by nanograms per millilitre of blood, with most healthy men having under 4ng/mL. According to the American Cancer Society, a PSA level between 4 and 10 indicates a 25% chance of it being prostate cancer. A PSA higher than 10 means there’s at least a 50% chance its prostate cancer.

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