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  • Prostate is a small and round gland in a male reproductive system. It is located  near bottom end of the bladder and  in front  of large intestine/rectum.
  • The main function of the prostate gland is to produce seminal fluid which helps carry the sperm produced in the scrotum out via the urethra within the penis.
  • Prostatic size increases with age. Enlargement of the prostate known as “Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia” will cause problems as people age.
  • For those above age of 70, a large part of the prostate will contain areas of abnormalities such as hyperplasic nodules, features of chronic prostatitis or even premalignant changes. Prostate hyperplasia however, is benign and not cancerous.
  • Prostatic cancer, a condition which is more common in the elderly is not part of normal aging. Therefore, it will not be discussed here.

Symptoms and Signs

  • Most prostate enlargement does not give rise to any symptom.
  • Patients may have symptoms with increased frequency of passing urine, urgency and sometimes the inability to control urine. It occurs when the prostate becomes enlarge and blocks the passage of urine.
  • Rectal examination by your doctor is crucial in the diagnosis of an enlarge prostate gland.
  • Complications
  • The commonest problem is difficulty in passing urine. This is due to the blockage of urinary.
  • If left untreated, complications that may occur are: increase risk of urinary tract infection, damage of bladder and kidney, renal stone and urination problems.


  • Enlargement of prostate at young age is not a problem but early awareness and knowledge about the prostate disease is important.  Early detection and early treatment provide a better prognosis.
  • Treatment of Prostatic Hyperplasia depends on the symptoms as well as size and stage of the enlargement. It will be assessed by your doctor.
Last Review : 20 June 2014
Writer : Dr. Sanidah binti Md. Ali
Reviewed : Dr. Ungku Ahmad Ameen bin Ungku Mohd Zam