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BPH Can Cause Complications, But Not Prostate Cancer

Enlarged prostate (BPH) is not a form of prostate cancer and does not lead to prostate cancer. Thus, BPH is not life-threatening. However, as many men know, BPH may be lifestyle-threatening and can cause great discomfort, inconvenience, and awkwardness.

In some cases, men can develop medical complications if the growth of the prostate causes the urethra, which passes through the prostate on its way from the bladder to the penis, to become blocked. These complications include:

  • Acute urinary retention, which is a condition that results in a complete inability to urinate. A tube called a catheter may be needed to drain urine from the bladder.
  • Chronic urinary retention, which is a partial blockage of urine flow that causes urine to remain in the bladder. In rare cases, this may lead to kidney damage if it goes undiagnosed for too long.
  • Urinary tract infection, which can cause pain or burning during urination, foul-smelling urine, or fever and chills.
  • Other complications from BPH may include bladder stones or bladder infections.

Having an enlarged prostate (BPH) does not directly affect the mechanics of sexual function. However, it is common for the symptoms of BPH and sexual dysfunction to occur at the same time.

Dr. Shore is a clinical urologist and principle investigator of the Prolieve® System, who specializes in prostate disease and has performed more than 200 office-based minimally invasive treatments for the symptoms of BPH. This article is based on Dr. Shore’s clinical experiences and opinions. Dr. Shore is a paid consultant of Boston Scientific.

Disclaimer: This material is provided for information purposes only and is not a substitute for a consultation. You should talk with a urologist regarding your specific symptoms or medical condition.


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