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Keeping Track of Your Prostate as You Age continued...

When you reach 40, talk to your doctor about your family’s medical history and other key factors that will help determine your risk of developing the disease.

If you get tested, you’ll likely undergo a digital rectal exam and a PSA test, a blood-draw that measures your levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA). High PSA levels could indicate cancer, but they can also be caused by other conditions, including BPH. Talk to your doctor to make sure you understand what the results mean.

Dealing With a Growing Prostate

Some men notice no symptoms of prostate growth. For the many who do, though, treatments can ease the peeing process.

Lifestyle changes: Cut down on, or cut out, alcohol and coffee, and drink less fluid in the evening. Both strategies can lessen the number of trips to the toilet. Also, talk to your doctor about your current medications. Some drugs may worsen your symptoms.

Medications: The FDA has approved several medications for benign prostate growth, which help by slowing growth, shrinking the prostate, or relaxing the muscles that make urination easier. Some men may benefit from a combination of drugs.

Surgery: For men who don’t benefit from medications, there are many types of surgery to offer relief. The most common, called TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate), removes the prostate tissue that’s compressing the urethra. Prostate surgery does not often affect a man's sex life in the long term, but it may take up to a year to fully recover sexual health after your procedure.