Questions and answers about prostate enlargement
About every second man over 50 and almost every over 80 years has an enlarged prostate. Most of the time, benign enlargement of the prostate gland begins at the age of 30. This change is a completely natural process. About every fifth person affected has to undergo treatment. Without exception, everyone should be examined once a year. Dr. Reinhold Schaefer, urologist and medical director of the medical network Uro-GmbH North Rhine answers the most important questions:
What problems can an enlarged prostate cause?
“In contrast to prostate cancer, which mainly occurs in the outer area of the prostate, the enlargement mainly develops in the inner zone. The proximity to the urethra can lead to narrowing - combined with varying degrees of urination problems. "
What are the symptoms of an enlarged prostate?
“People often notice that the urine stream weakens, difficulty starting to urinate and that several attempts are required to completely empty the bladder. Further indications for an enlargement are increased pressure when urinating, more frequent toilet visits or dripping urine. "
What are the consequences?
“An enlarged prostate sometimes leads to increased residual urine formation. 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 builds up, which can also damage the kidneys. ”
How often should men take precautionary measures?
"The preventive health care program of the statutory health insurers in Germany provides for prostate examinations once a year for men aged 45 and over. The visit to the specialist is important for the reason alone to differentiate the benign disease from a possible prostate cancer. "
And what does the urologist do?
“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. "
Can I also take the PSA test at my family doctor?
“The test results are to be considered individually and vary from man to man. It is therefore important that we collect the PAS value every year using the same method of determination. So we have comparative data that we can interpret better. Only the urologist should do the examination. Similar to the evaluations in specialized breast centers, which perform mammography and ultrasound on women and can assess the results well, the correct interpretation of all values requires a great deal of experience. "
What does the therapy look like?
“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. In most patients, if surgery is required, the symptoms decrease significantly. ”(Pm)