Minimally Invasive Urology Institute
Delivering Excellence in Urologic Patient Care, Education & Research

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) and Prostate Cancer

There is often a lot of confusion about the differences between Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) and Prostate Cancer. The team of experts at the Minimally Invasive Urology Institute provides a side-by-side comparison between two of the most common urologic disorders that effect men.


Prostate Cancer

What are the signs and symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)?
  • Urgent or frequent need to urinate during the day and at night
  • A slow or weak urinary stream
  • Difficulty completely emptying the bladder
  • Difficulty or delay in starting urination
  • A urinary stream that starts and stops
What are the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer?
  • Most often, men will not experience any signs or symptoms.
  • Rarely men may complain of difficulty or delay in starting urination, weak urinary stream, pelvic pain, or blood in the urine.

What are the risk factors for developing benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)?

There are no known risk factors for BPH, but age is a related factor.
As men age, the likelihood of experiencing symptoms of BPH increase.
50% of men who are age 50 and 80% of men who are age 80 and
above are affected by the symptoms of an enlarged prostate.

What are the risk factors for developing prostate cancer?
  • Family history of prostate cancer
  • Tobacco use
  • Obesity

How is BPH diagnosed?

  • Your doctor will diagnose BPH often based on symptoms.

How is prostate cancer diagnosed?

  • Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is a blood test that can be useful tool in identifying prostate cancer. You should discuss with your doctor if PSA screening is appropriate for you.
  • Digital rectal exam (DRE) may be performed by your doctor to identify nodules on the prostate that could be a sign of prostate.

Either an elevated PSA or irregularity on DRE could lead to a prostate biopsy which would confirm a diagnosis of prostate cancer.

What are the treatments for BPH?

Treatments for BPH depend on many factors include age, symptoms, and size of the prostate. Treatments may include:

  • Dietary changes such as avoiding alcohol, caffeine, drinking fluids close to bedtime
  • Medications
  • Surgery
    • Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) (A resectoscope, which is a type of endoscope, is inserted into the urethra where an attached wire loop is used to remove excess prostate tissue that is blocking urine flow. An endoscope is a device with a light attached that is used to look inside body cavities and organs. The resulting image is displayed on monitors in the operating room, giving the surgeon a clearer view of body structures)
    • UroLift (Performed using cystoscopy, UroLift is an outpatient procedure in which the enlarged prostate is pulled and held back using suture-like implants, allowing the unobstructed passage of urine. It does not involve any cutting, heating or removing of prostate tissue and does not cause sexual dysfunction. The patient resumes normal urinary function and daily routines within about one week).
    • Simple prostatectomy (The removal of the entire prostate thru an incision).

What are the treatments for prostate cancer?

Treatments for prostate cancer depend on many factors including age, how aggressive the cancer may be, and overall health.

Treatments may include:

  • Active Surveillance (continued monitoring)
  • Surgery (Robotic Prostatectomy)
  • Radiation Therapy (External beam radiation therapy or Brachytherapy)
  • Hormone therapy
  • Chemotherapy