Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size

Prostate Cancer: Enlarged Prostate

Benign (noncancerous) enlargement of the prostate, known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH for short), is the most common prostate problem in men. Almost all men will develop some enlargement of the prostate as they age.

Enlarged Prostate

When Does Prostate Enlargement Happen?

Overall, the number of men with BPH increases progressively with age. By age 60, 50% of men will have some signs of BPH. By age 85, 90% of men will have signs of the condition. About one third of these men will develop symptoms that require treatment.

Does BPH Increase Your Risk of Developing Prostate Cancer?

Based on research to date, the answer is no. However, BPH and prostate cancer have similar symptoms, and a man who has BPH may have undetected cancer at the same time.

To help detect prostate cancer in its early stages, the American Cancer Society advises annual screening starting at age 50 in men who have at least a 10-year life expectancy. They also say that for men who are at high risk, such as African-American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer, screening should begin at about age 45. Men at an even higher risk, such as having several relatives with a history of prostate cancer at an early age, could begin testing at age 40.

The American Urological Association recommends against routine screening in men between ages 45 and 54, and recommends that men ages 55 to 69 should weigh the risks and benefits of screening and treatment. Those men, the AUA recommends, should be screened every two years rather than annually. Tests used to screen for prostate cancer include a blood test for a substance called prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and the digital rectal exam (DRE). The AUA does not recommend PSA screening in men over age 70 or any man with less than a 10-15-year life expectancy.

What Are the Symptoms of BPH?

Since the prostate gland surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body, it is easy to see that enlargement of the prostate can lead to blockage of the tube. You may develop:

  • Slowness or dribbling of your urinary stream
  • Hesitancy or difficulty starting to urinate
  • Frequent urination
  • Feeling of urgency or sudden need to urinate
  • Need to get up at night to urinate

As symptoms progress, you may develop:

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

man with doctor
Symptoms, risks, treatments
man coughing
Men shouldn’t ignore
prostate cancer cells
What does this diagnosis mean?
doctor and male patient
Is it worth it?
cancer fighting foods
15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore
Prostate Enlarged
Picture Of The Prostate
Prostate Cancer Quiz
screening tests for men
Prostate Cancer Symptoms
Vitamin D