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What is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is the abnormal growth of benign prostate cells. It is not cancer. The cells form too much tissue but do not invade nearby tissue or spread to other parts of the body as cancer cells can. In BPH, the prostate grows larger and pushes against the urethra and bladder, blocking the normal flow of urine. BPH is exceedingly common in men as they age.

After age 50, the proportion of men who have some sign of BPH is approximately the same as a man's age; e.g., 50% at age 50, 70% at age 70, 90% at age 90. It is not a threat to life, but it may require treatment if the symptoms become too troublesome. There are medications, including herbal treatments, as well as surgical procedures that can help relieve urinary symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.