Health Library

Benign Prostate Problems

Types of noncancerous prostate problems

Most clinical conditions of the prostate are benign (noncancerous), including the following:

  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This is an age-related enlargement of the prostate that isn't malignant. BPH is the most common noncancerous prostate problem, occurring in most men by the time they reach their 60s. Symptoms are slow, interrupted, or weak urinary stream; urgency with leaking or dribbling; and frequent urination, especially at night. Although it isn't cancer, BPH symptoms are often similar to those of prostate cancer.

  • Prostatism. The symptom of prostatism is decreased urinary force due to obstruction of flow through the prostate gland. The most common cause of prostatism is BPH.

  • Prostatitis. This is inflammation or infection of the prostate gland characterized by discomfort, pain, frequent or infrequent urination, and sometimes fever.

  • Prostatalgia. This is pain in the prostate gland, also called prostatodynia. It's frequently a symptom of prostatitis.

These problems are quite common and may happen to men of all ages. Prostatitis is mainly a problem of men younger than age 50, and BPH primarily affects men older than age 50.

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