At What Point Does BPH Become Prostate Cancer?

by Dr. Donna Schwontkowski
Reading Time: 3 minutes

bph prostate cancer

The answer to this question has been reported in medical journals for some time now.

Medical Report #1: Practitioner medical journal, Guy’s Hospital, London

One scientist from England spelled out the answer quite logically after saying that in the U.K., over 70% of men over the age of 70 have benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH) and prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men there.

Prostate cancer patients usually fall in one of three different categories:

  1. The patient has no symptoms at all
  2. The patient has lower urinary tract symptoms who have a prostate biopsy
  3. The patient has bone pain or other symptoms, showing that the prostate cancer has metastasized to other places in the body.

The main cause of lower urinary tract symptoms such as running to the bathroom several times during the night is BPH, not prostate cancer. In fact, there is only a small portion of men in this category that has these symptoms due to prostate cancer.

The way to differentiate between BPH and prostate cancer is the PSA test and the digital rectal examination. If the digital examination shows there are nodules on the prostate, there’s about a 50% chance of prostate cancer, which will show up on the biopsy. A test showing high levels of PSA but a biopsy must be made before a cancer diagnosis is established.

On the other hand, if the digital rectal exam, PSA and biopsy are negative, you can expect there is no cancer there. Just because someone has BPH, it doesn’t mean that this will develop into prostate cancer. The strongest predictors are age and family history. The only connection between BPH and prostate cancer is that having BPH makes it easier to find a coexisting prostate cancer.

From this researcher, we find that BPH does not become prostate cancer, period.

 

Medical Report #2,  Finding Prostate Cancer in Another Way

Scientists looking for another way to diagnose prostate cancer believe they have found it. They evaluated the ability of the glutathioneS-transferase P1 gene to methylate and found some simple answers. If the gene was hypermethylating, it was associated with 93% of known prostate cancers. If those tested did not have prostate cancer, the hypermethylation only showed up 10% of the time. The genetic test was 93% accurate for prostate cancer with a sensitivity of 95% and specificity of 87%.

This test could be done without invading the actual prostate gland.

 

Medical Report #3, Doctors Find New Way to Detect Prostate Cancer

Doctors from Turkey have discovered a new way to test patients for prostate cancer. They tested something called omentin levels. Omentin is a substance created by belly fat that circulates throughout the plasma.

The doctors tested known omentin levels in 30 patients with BPH and 30 known patients with prostate cancer. The omentin levels in those with BPH were 373 whereas the omentin levels in prostate cancer patients were 546.8, showing a big difference between the two groups. These differences persisted no matter how much belly fat the man had.

It’s still too early for doctors to advocate using this method across the board right now but in the future, this test may be added to the list of other tests that may be done to determine prostate cancer.

If you have BPH, the chances are good you don’t have prostate cancer. One doesn’t lead to the other. However, don’t neglect testing yourself for prostate cancer as you get older.


Dr. Donna Schwontkowski received a Doctorate in Chiropractic Medicine (D.C.), from the National College of Chiropractic, Lombard, IL, in Dec. 1990. In addition to running a medical practice, Dr Donna has had a long and distinguished career as a medical teacher, both running courses at various universities and also as a published author of several books and as a television presenter on health issues.


Sources:

Dumache, R., et al. Prostate cancer molecular detection in plasma samples by glutathione-S-transferase P1 (GSTP1) methylation analysis. Clin Lab 2014;60(5):847-62. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24839830

Uyeturk, U., et al. Serum omentin level in patients with prostate cancer. Med Oncol 2014 Apr; 31(4): 923.

Chang, R.T., Kirby, R., and Challacombe, B. Is there a link between BPH and prostate cancer? Practitioner 2012 Apr;256(1750):13-6;2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22792684

Understanding Prostate Changes: A Health Guide for Men. National Cancer Institute.  https://www.cancer.gov/types/prostate/understanding-prostate-changes Accessed online Oct. 6, 2018.

 

At What Point Does BPH Become Prostate Cancer?
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  1. John

    Hi Ben, I’m 74 and my psa was 14. It was gradually going up 2 points every year ( 4-6-8-9-11 and now 14. I did the MRI and my urologist recommended a ultrasound with biopsy as they found something on one area of the prostate. I ask for another blood test to see if my psa is still the same or higher. I’ll hear the results Dec. 5th. Do you think I should be ready to take the biopsy if it does show a rise on the psa?

  2. Robin Roberts

    I’ve been a customer for 5+ years. My PSA was 13 then and declined a biopsy and went to your Dr. in AZ. We talked after and established a plan. My BPH seemed to be under control until last week (I’ve been sleeping without interruption). I needed a catheter, and the ER doctor put me on Flomax; I’m not excited. I’m waiting to get into my Urologist to learn what they think.
    Your thoughts are always appreciated.
    Thanks, Robin

    • Ben Ong

      Hi Robin, could you please get in touch with our support team via our toll free number +1 888-868-3554 or by emailing [email protected] so that we can discuss this with you in further detail.

  3. Floyd

    I have heard that an MRI which is non evasive is equally as good as a biopsy in determining cancer. I’ve also read in the past that prostate cancer is very slow growing and that in most instances one will die of something else if one is already 75-80 at time of diagnosis.

    • Larry

      Hey Floyd I have been taking Ben’s products and advise for several years.He emailed me and said, it’s your body you done have to have a biopsy and I didn’t. I went to a non-profit hospital with the help of my urologist got an MRI for $250. Enlarged prostate, PSA 10, but no signs of cancer & no biopsy needed. Thanks Ben and keep up the good work.

    • Ben Ong

      Hi Floyd, we have an actually discussing MRI which may be of interest to you=> http://www.bensprostate.com/mri-successful-prostate-biopsy/. In some instances prostate cancer is slow growing, though it depends on the individual and what stage it is at. However, in the case of early stage, localized prostate cancer (where the cancer remains in the prostate), according to one study, you have a 1% risk of dying from prostate cancer over 10 years, regardless of whether the tumour is treated with surgery, radiotherapy, or active surveillance. You may also find this article an interesting read=> https://www.bensprostate.com/are-men-being-over-treated-for-prostate-cancer/

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