Q: Whats the difference between prostate cancer and BPH?
Two of the most common health problems facing older men today involve the prostate gland. Prostate cancer is one of them, and the American Cancer Society estimates that over 32,000 men died from the disease in 2010. Another is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) , a condition of the prostate which can often be confused with cancer of the prostate, but is not malignant in nature. In both prostate cancer and BPH, the prostate gland often enlarges significantly. Because the gland surrounds the urethra, which is a small tube which allows urine to pass from the bladder to the penis and out of the body, complications in urination are common for both prostate cancer and BPH.
The main difference between prostate cancer and BPH is that BPH is not cancerous and is not life-threatening, while prostate cancer can be deadly. Most symptoms of BPH are identical to the ones prostate cancer causes. There is no way to differentiate between the two conditions without a physician first performing a diagnostic test to check for prostate cancer. Unlike prostate cancer, BPH cannot spread to other areas of the body. Whether prostate cancer or BPH is diagnosed, there are a number of treatment options available for both conditions.