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Is an Enlarged Prostate Dangerous?

Apr 03, 2024
 Is an Enlarged Prostate Dangerous?
Benign prostatic hyperplasia, also known as an enlarged prostate gland, is a common condition, and if you have one, you might wonder if it’s dangerous. In this blog, our team answers this question in detail.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia 一 more often referred to as an enlarged prostate gland 一 is an extremely common condition. It’s present in half of men over the age of 60 and in 90% of men over the age of 80.

Chances are high that you or someone you know already has an enlarged prostate gland, and if you’re just learning of your diagnosis, you might wonder if it’s dangerous.

That’s the question that our board-certified urologists at Bellingham Urology Group in Bellingham and Mount Vernon, Washington, answer below. 

What does it mean if your prostate gland is enlarged?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a noncancerous enlargement of your prostate gland, which is located below your bladder and surrounds your urethra. As you age, your prostate gland tends to grow larger. This can compress your urethra and contribute to subsequent urinary symptoms. While benign prostatic hyperplasia itself isn’t considered dangerous, it can significantly impact your quality of life if left untreated.

The most common symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate include urinary hesitancy, weak urine stream, frequent urination (especially at night), urgency, dribbling, and incomplete bladder emptying. While these symptoms can be bothersome and disruptive, they are not typically life-threatening.

Complications of an enlarged prostate

Although benign prostatic hyperplasia is generally considered a benign condition, it can sometimes lead to complications that may require medical intervention. These complications may include urinary retention, urinary tract infections (UTIs), bladder stones, kidney damage, and acute urinary retention (sudden inability to urinate).

Symptoms such as frequent urination and urinary urgency can disrupt daily activities, affect sleep patterns, and lead to social embarrassment. 

Will enlarged prostate glands turn into cancer?

This is a common question we hear at Bellingham Urology Group. Many men with an enlarged prostate gland worry about the connection between an enlarged prostate and prostate cancer. The good news is that having an enlarged prostate doesn’t cause cancer, nor does it increase your risk of prostate cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. 

That being said, the two conditions can share some of the same symptoms, so don’t hesitate to reach out for an accurate diagnosis if you spot any bothersome signs. 

If any cancerous cells are detected, our team of experts may recommend cancer treatments, such as surgery to remove the affected tissue.

Get the help you need for an enlarged prostate gland

To return to the titular question 一 Is an enlarged prostate dangerous? 一 the answer is no. Enlarged prostate glands won’t cause imminent harm to you, but they do cause uncomfortable and bothersome symptoms. That’s where we come into the picture.

Depending on the size of your prostate gland, our team may recommend any of the following treatments:

To get the relief you need from an enlarged prostate gland, give us a call to explore your treatment options. Book your next appointment today through our online scheduling tool or by phone.