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An enlarged prostate is commonly thought of as little more than a nuisance that interrupts a man’s quality of life, but is not that serious overall. But a new study published in the journal European Urology found the condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, may actually increase a man’s chances of receiving a positive PSA test for prostate cancer.
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen analyzed medical records from more than 3 million men collected between 1980 and 2006. The results showed that those who experienced an enlarged prostate due to BPH were two to three times more likely to develop prostate cancer. Furthermore, these individuals had up to an eight-fold increased risk of death from prostate cancer.
Despite the strong correlation, the researchers stressed that their study does not indicate that BPH causes prostate cancer or is a risk factor for the condition. There may be common risk factors that increase a man’s chances of developing both ailments.
Still the findings do suggest that men who have BPH may benefit from being vigilant against prostate cancer. Regular PSA testing may help these men understand their complete risk. With more than 6 million men suffering from BPH, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, many individuals may want to consider testing.
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