How to Diagnose an Enlarged Prostrate
It is always best to visit or consult a doctor if you are feeling or observing some physical symptoms of prostate enlargement or benign prostatic hyperplasia, also known as BPH. The doctor ensures a correct diagnosis in order to provide the right treatment and management. This is only possible if all other possible conditions are ruled out and determined absent.
The doctor examines the current physical state of the patient along with his or her medical record (medical history), and administers a series of diagnostic tests, like blood and urine examinations. These steps enable the doctor to glimpse what is happening from the inside. Sometimes, neurological tests are necessary in order to exclude other problems, such as the nerves in the bladder or prostate area.
To monitor the condition more closely, the doctor may ask the patient to complete an AUA or American Urological Association symptom index. This chart-like item helps the doctor see if the symptom is already affecting your daily activities, but it is not considered and should not be regarded as a form of final diagnosis.
The Usual Diagnostic Examinations for Prostate Enlargement
- The doctor initially requires a digital rectal examination whenever the symptoms of enlarged prostate or BPH are present or observed. This determines the current state of the prostate including its size and texture. The actual size of the prostate may not be a determining factor because it can be larger than normal and still not do anything unusual to the body.
- The secondary diagnostic test is usually the urine culture or urinalysis that lets the doctor determine if there is an existing infection to the prostate that may be causing the symptoms.
- The creatinine blood examination is the third level of diagnostic. It examines the kidney to see whether it is functioning well.
- The last examination is the PSA or Prostate-Specific Antigen. This determines or rules out the presence of cancer in the prostate. This is important since the symptoms of simple BPH or enlarged prostate are similar to prostate cancer.
Possible Diagnostic Procedures the Doctor Will Perform
- The doctor, depending on the condition’s urgency may go for PVR or a Post-Void Residual Urine examination to see the amount of urine in the bladder after urinating. The usual tools to perform a PVR are ultrasound and a catheter inserted through the urethra to the bladder.
- The doctor may also be request a Pressure Flow Test to see and measure pressure in the bladder while urinating. This helps the doctor see something blocking the passage that may cause symptoms, while also determining or ruling out the possibility of neurological problems.
- Cystometrogram is another diagnostic procedure that measures the capacity of the bladder to store fluid or urine. This examination comes with an Auroflometry test, which measures the speed of the flow of the urine while in the process of urination.
- The doctor will often request an ultrasound to see if the prostate is enlarged or not as healthy as the kidney. This ultrasound is performed by inserting a transducer into the rectum.
- Another test, Cystoscopy, is used in order to see the internal condition of the bladder and the urethra and to rule out the possibility of prostate blocking (due to enlargement).
- IVP or an Intravenous Pyelogram may help the doctor see if the kidney is functioning well. This determines whether the urine is properly flowing from the kidney to the bladder.
- The CT Scan or Spiral / Helical Computed Tomography is the final test, which somehow seals everything since it gives the detailed physical condition of the kidney, the prostate, or any internal organs of the body. This type of x-ray makes it easy for doctors to see if there is something physically wrong with the kidney or prostate.
Screening for an Enlarged Prostate
There are currently no tests available that directly screen for prostate enlargement. Although several examinations or screenings can help the doctor determine whether there is an existing problem in the prostate, these tests are usually done for prostate and rectum cancer.
The physiology of the prostate deteriorates as a person ages, but this also depends on how much care was given to the body during the younger years. That is why most doctors suggest a PSA or digital rectal examination. The PSA is administered to men in their 50s and up to physically monitor the condition of the prostate. This can help avoid possible cancer or determine the right treatment when a prostate problem already exists. But some doctors disagree, saying that these diagnostics can not guarantee the elimination and possibility of prostate problems such as cancer.
The patient’s screening needs ultimately may depend on the symptoms and the actual physical needs.
If you have felt or are feeling some symptoms, never self medicate or assume your current physical condition. Some people simply ignore these symptoms until everything is worsens. Prevention is definitely better than the cure, and simple preventive examinations can save time, money, and life in the future. Always consult a doctor and submit to several diagnostic procedures in order to determine the right and possibly the best treatment to treat BPH or any similar problems with their prostate. Keep in mind that self-medicating may only worsen the condition.
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