To find out whether your prostate gland is enlarged, you'll need to have afew tests.
Some tests will be carried out by your GP and others will be carried out by a urologist (a doctor who specialises in urinary problems).
First, your GP will ask about your symptoms. If it seems that you have symptoms of benign prostate enlargement , the next stage is to calculate yourInternational Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS).
You'll be asked to completeaquestionnaireto assess your symptoms. Each question hasfive possible answers that carry a score, andyour overall scoreis used to assess the severity of your symptoms.
The checklist includes the following questions.
Over the past month:
After your GP has assessed the severity your symptoms, they'll aim to ruleout other conditionswith similar symptoms using certain tests.
Thesymptoms of benign prostate enlargement are similar to those of other conditions, including Urinary PSA test . Therefore, your GP will need to be completely sure that your symptoms aren't caused by cancer.
A urine test can be used to check whether your symptoms are caused by an infection in your urinary system, such as a kidney infection or bladder infection.
You may needa rectal examination to check whether you might have prostate cancer. Prostate cancer can cause the prostate gland to become hard and bumpy.
Your GP will put on a glove and lubricate one of their fingers, before gently pushing this finger into your bottom and up into your rectum. As the rectum is close to the prostate gland, they'll be able to check whether the surface of the gland has changed. The procedure will feel a little uncomfortable, but it isn't usually painful.
Prostate cancer doesn't always cause changes to the prostate gland, so you may need to have some more specialised tests to rule it out. You will probably be referred to a urologist for these tests.
A blood test can be used to measure the amount of the PSA protein that's produced by the prostate.
A raised PSA level indicates enlargement of the prostate, and a significantly raised level may indicate prostate cancer. However, as with a rectal examination, a PSA test can't provide a definitive diagnosis of prostate cancer.
A TRUS is a type of ultrasound scan specifically designed to study the prostate and the surrounding area.
An ultrasound probe is placed into your rectum and uses soundwaves to build a detailed image of your prostate.
This type of scan measures the size of your prostate and can be used to either confirm or rule out a diagnosis of prostate cancer.
A CT urogram is used to study the urinary tract (the bladder and the tubes through which urine passes, also known as the ureter and urethra).
A CT urogram can be used to check for blockages in your urinary system that could be causing your symptoms, such as a kidney stone or bladder stone. It can also be used to detect any damage in the urinary tract.
During a CT urogram, youll be injected with a harmless radioactive dye, which will be visible on X-rays . After 30-60 minutes, the dye should have passed into your urinary tract and a series of X-rays will be taken. In some cases, you may be asked to pass urine before the final X-ray is taken.
A voiding chart is a urination diary, which you may be asked to keep for 24 hours. You'll be asked to record how often you urinate, as well as details about how you urinate for example, whether your urination is stopping and starting, or whether it's difficult to start urinating.
A voiding chart is a good way of finding out more information about your symptoms and can be used to determine the type of treatment that would be most effective in controlling your symptoms.
Uroflowmetry measures the pressure of your bladder and how well your bladder works when you urinate.
You'll be given a local anaesthetic and a small flexible tube ( catheter ) will be inserted into your urethra and moved up into your bladder.
Water will then be injected through the catheter and into your bladder. A computer connected to the catheter measures the pressure inside your bladder and can assess how well your bladder is working.
As with voiding charts, uroflowmetry is a good way of determining what type of treatment will help to control your symptoms.
Read about benign prostate enlargement (BPE), also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is a common condition that affects men over 50 years of age.
The symptoms of benign prostate enlargement are caused by the enlarged prostate placing pressure on the bladder and urethra (which carries urine from the bladder to the penis).
The exact cause of benign prostate enlargement is unknown, but research suggests that hormones probably play an important role in the condition's development.
To find out whether your prostate gland is enlarged, you'll need to have a few tests. Some tests will be carried out by your GP and others will be carried out by a urologist.
If you have an enlarged prostate, your recommended treatment plan will be determined by how severe your symptoms are.
Benign prostate enlargement can sometimes lead to complications, such as a urinary tract infection (UTI) or acute urinary retention (AUR).