Movember 25th: BPH (Part II)

Movember has to be hands down the craziest month of the year. I don’t even get into the shopping craze, but my goodness does time fly. Before the month wraps up, let’s finish strong and complete our discussion about Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).

Earlier in the month we discussed BPH’s risk factors, signs, and symptoms. In this post I’d like to quickly highlight how BPH is diagnosed.

Remember that BPH is a fancy term for, “enlarged prostate.” How it is diagnosed it just as simple: Family history, physical exam, and medical testing. Are we starting to see the importance of knowing our family history and regular yearly physicals?

The physical exam involved a digital rectal exam (DRE). We bend over, the MD (with gloved hand) lubricates a finger and slides it against the anterior wall of the rectum, feeling for prostate enlargement and abnormalities. Now I know what many of us are thinking, “no way is anything going up my ass.”

Are we going to avoid having a routine colonoscopy when we know family members have succumbed to colon cancer? At some point we need to set aside our pride and do what’s best for us. I often tell patients (mostly the ladies), “a gentlemen never tells” because, I can’t tell anyone even if I wanted to (unless they are part of the medical staff in charge of your care). No one is going to tell your friends.

Lastly, there are several medical tests that can help determine a diagnosis of BPH:

  • Urinalysis: urine test checking for infection
  • Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA): A blood test measure PSA level
  • Urodynamic Tests: A test to determine how the bladder holds and releases urine
  • Cystoscopy: Test using a scope/camera to see urethra/bladder
  • Transrectal Ultrasound: Rectal test to visualize abnormalities
  • Biopsy: Obtaining a tissue sample to view under a microscope for abnormalities

It may take one or more of these tests to get a definitive diagnosis. Once we know what we’re dealing with, we are on to treatments.

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4 thoughts on “Movember 25th: BPH (Part II)

  1. Pingback: Movember 21st: Manchester City 1 – Liverpool 4 | There Is Another Way To Live

  2. Dan

    Hi David,

    I agree that men need to overcome their fears and become invested in their own well-being. It was a DRE five years ago–15 seconds of discomfort–that discovered something was amiss. A PSA test (5.0) and subsequent biopsy (11 of 20 samples positive with cancer; pre-surgery Gleason 3+3) confirmed what the DRE had suggested–prostate cancer. Five years later, I’m still kicking and advocating to increase prostate cancer awareness. Those 15 seconds likely added years to my life.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome! I’m glad you’re still kicking it and spreading the word. I often joke that, “men need a little more help.”

    I hope you’re enjoying Movember. I apologize for my posts becoming a little sparse. I’ll make up for lost time in Decembeard: The Reckoning!

    Thank you for reading.


  4. Mine is checked once a year at my full physical. I put it this way, if a man thinks he’s a man, he can deal with the 15 seconds of discomfort of a doctors finger up his arse. If one can’t take that then he may want to rethink being the tough guy.

    Liked by 1 person

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