A look at Benign prostate results

Following urinary complications men are often tested for prostate cancer through traditional means such as a digital rectum exam and a PSA test. It is often a case that although these results show an enlarged prostate and elevated PSA levels that the patient actually has a benign prostate i.e. Non-cancerous inflammation.

There are a few types of prostate condition that may lead to initial symptoms similar to those of prostate cancer but which are in fact benign, these include: prostate hyperplasia; Prostatitis and Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia (PIN). In the first two of these cases there is no increased prostate cancer risk factors associated with the condition; PIN however is known to be a risk factor.

Benign Prostate Hyperplasia

Benign prostate hyperplasia (often abbreviated to BPH) is a non cancerous enlargement of the prostate. There are two symptoms of benign prostate hyperplasia:

1. Urinary Symptoms: These are caused by the enlargement of the prostate and include reduced flow, difficulty and increased need to urinate.
2. It is often the case that PSA levels increase in people with prostate hyperplasia.

One of the methods that doctors use to distinguish benign prostate hyperplasia from prostate cancer is by analysing of PSA test results as there are two forms in which PSA exist, a free form and a bound form. In people with hyperplasia, although PSA levels are higher, the PSA are mainly in the free form. Treatment of benign prostate hyperplasia often requires the use of surgery to reduce the size of the prostate; although sometimes medication will have a substantial impact and eliminate any need of surgery.


The condition of prostatitis comes about because of an inflammation of the prostate gland. The main symptoms are:

1. Urinary Symptoms: Increased need to urinate, weak flow.
2. Prostate discomfort
3. Rise in PSA levels

Most men have some form of prostate inflammation; when it is severe and cause discomfort it is known as prostatitis. There are many causes of the prostatitis condition such as disruption of tissue following biopsy and more often bacterial infections. Treatments for prostatitis include antibacterial medication and sitting in warm water.

Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia (PIN)

When looking at a biopsy under the microscope a doctor may diagnose prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia. In this case the sample will not appear to be normal i.e. The cells may be enlarged or have changed shape. Depending on how far the cells defer from the norm, the results of prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia will be given in two forms: low grade or high grade. Although high grade PIN is not a cancerous condition it is a recognised risk factor of prostate cancer. There is a high percentage (40 to 50%) chance that a person with PIN will go on to develop prostate cancer at some stage of his life. Therefore people diagnosed with prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia are usually carefully monitored by techniques such as watchful waiting and regular biopsy tests to keep tabs on any development of the condition.

In conclusion

Not all problems associated with the prostate are due to cancer, it has been seen that both urinary symptoms and increased levels of PSA may be down to benign prostate condirtiions such as prostatitis and benign prostate hyperplasia. As ever if you are unsure of any of your results do not be afraid to discuss them with your doctor. He/She will be used to questions of a personal nature and be able to answer your questions for your specific circumstances in detail.

© Prostate Cancer Guide inc. 2006 - 2015