No matter how physically healthy or unhealthy you are, if you’re a man over the age of forty-five, there is a 50 percent chance you have prostate enlargement. Doctors call it benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
That’s right… a 50% chance!
The symptoms of an enlarged prostate are often painful, embarrassing, and frustrating. The most common symptoms are:
* A frequent and often urgent need to urinate
* A frustrating inability to completely empty the bladder
* A weak urine stream, and painful or bloody urination.
The good news is… there are now natural treatments available to treat prostate conditions that are safe, effective alternatives to these conventional prescription drugs or surgery.
But if you suspect you are suffering from prostate problems, the very first thing to do is have your doctor or urologist accurately diagnose your condition.
There are several examinations to detect prostate enlargement and/or other prostate conditions. Some of these methods are referred to by their initials.
Digital Rectal Exam
Digital rectal exam (or DRE) is usually the first test done. And it’s just what it says: your doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum and feels the part of the prostate next to the rectum. A DRE prostate protocol reviews exam can give a general idea of the size and condition of the gland, but it’s not highly reliable in detecting prostate enlargement, since the part of the prostate that presses on the urethra can’t be felt by DRE. It is, however, more useful in diagnosing prostatitis or detecting prostate cancer.
These are initials you’ll hear tossed around a lot in relation to prostates. They stand for Prostate Specific Antigen, a protein produced by both benign and malignant prostate cells. The PSA test measures the amount of this protein in the blood. Heightened PSA levels can occur in BPH, prostatitis and prostate cancer. The test is not highly reliable, but it is considered to be more useful in detecting prostate cancer than BPH or prostatitis. Nevertheless, it’s a part of the alphabet you should be familiar with.
Urinary Flow Rate Measurement
The patient urinates into a special device that measures how quickly urine is flowing. The peak flow rateÑwhen the urine is flowing fastestÑis a more specific indication of BPH than the average rate of flow. Ultrasound This is usually only used if there is a suspicion of prostate cancer. A probe in the rectum directs sound waves at the prostate, and echo patterns of those waves form an image of the prostate on a display screen.
American Urologic Association Symptom Index
The American Urologic Association has developed a symptom index (AUASI) that has become the standard test to assess symptoms of BPH.