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Understanding Prostate Changes as Men age

Understanding Prostate Changes as Men age

The prostate is a small, walnut-shaped gland located just below the bladder surrounding the urethra, the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body, and plays a vital role in male fertility and overall men’s health.

Prostate health, then, is a crucial aspect of men’s overall well-being, yet it is often overlooked, misunderstood, or ignored altogether.

As men age, changes are likely to occur in their prostate, thus it being essential to understand these changes and available associated treatments. In what follows, we’ll be exploring the most common prostate changes in men as they age while also sharing several key interventions for the treatment, management, and prevention of prostate health concerns.

Common Prostate Changes in Men

As men age, it is common for their prostate to undergo changes that can impact their health. Sometimes, however, these changes are unbeknownst to the patient and could be cause for concern.

To gain a better understanding of these changes, here are some of the most common prostate changes men experience as they age:

  • Enlarged Prostate (BPH)

This is a benign condition in which the prostate gland grows larger, putting pressure on the urethra and making urination difficult. Symptoms of BPH include weak urine flow, frequent urination, and a feeling of not being able to completely empty the bladder.

The exact cause of BPH is not known, but it is believed to be related to changes in hormone levels that occur with aging. As the levels of testosterone decrease, the levels of another hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) increase which then causes the prostate to grow.

  • Prostatitis

This is an inflammation of the prostate that can cause pain and discomfort in the pelvic area. It can also result in frequent urination and a need to urinate at night. The condition is caused by a bacterial infection that affects the prostate and can be treated with antibiotics.

In some cases, prostatitis can be chronic and difficult to treat. In these cases, a combination of medications, lifestyle changes, and stress management techniques may be necessary to manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

  • Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is a potentially serious condition in which cells in the prostate grow abnormally and form a tumor. It is the most common type of cancer in men, and it is typically diagnosed in men over the age of 50.

There are several risk factors that have been identified, including age, race, family history, and lifestyle. Early detection is key when it comes to prostate cancer, and regular check-ups with your doctor are imperative.

Prostate Interventions as Men Age

While not all prostate changes are reasons to panic, it’s always in the best interest of the patient to proactively monitor and manage symptoms, seeking medical attention whenever necessary.

There are several options available for men looking to address prostate changes as they age, some not involving any medical attention whatsoever, at least in the early stages of identification or in the case of taking preventative action.

Here are three common prostate interventions the men can implement as they age to better treat, manage, and prevent prostate changes:

  • Lifestyle Changes

Making changes to your diet and exercise routine can help manage the symptoms of an enlarged prostate and improve overall prostate health. Eating a healthy diet that is low in fat and high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help reduce inflammation and promote prostate health. Regular exercise can also help maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of developing prostate problems.

  • Medications

There are several medications available that can help manage the symptoms of an enlarged prostate including alpha-blockers, for example, which can help relax the muscles around the prostate and make it easier to urinate. Another option is 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, which can slow the growth of the prostate and reduce the symptoms of BPH.

  • Surgery

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat an enlarged prostate. Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is a common procedure that involves removing part of the prostate to relieve pressure on the urethra. Another option is a prostatic urethral lift (PUL), which involves placing small implants in the prostate to lift it and open up the urethra.

Prostate changes are a natural part of aging for men, and it is essential to understand the options available for managing these changes. Whether you are experiencing an enlarged prostate, prostatitis, or prostate cancer, there are treatments available to help you manage your symptoms and improve your health.

To stay on top of your prostate health, be sure to schedule regular check-ups with your doctor and make lifestyle changes that promote overall wellness.

Dr. Ashwin Maharaj obtained his undergraduate degree in Biology/Physiology from the University of Western Ontario (BSc). e became certified through is a Diplomate of the American Board of Surgery and was certified as fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS) and recently recertified. He is a member of the Canadian Association of General Surgeons. His current clinical interests are devoted to outpatient acute and chronic gastrointestinal medicine/surgery as well as abdominal wall hernia surgery and practices in certified facilities in Toronto. He has research experience in gastrointestinal disease as well as surgical education teaching resident surgeons and medical students.

Dr. Diana Magee completed her undergraduate education at Cornell University followed by a Master of Public Health degree at Boston University. She received her medical degree from Queen’s University and completed her urology residency at the University of Toronto. While in residency she enrolled in the Surgeon Scientist program and completed her Master of Science in Health Services Research. She completed her fellowship in urologic oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. Dr. Magee’s area of expertise is in the management of urologic cancers as well as performing minimally invasive surgery.

Dr. Pianezza completed his medical degree (MD) at the University of Ottawa in 2002. He became a member of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada (FRCSC). He then completed a one-year fellowship in minimally invasive surgery and endourology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton in 2008.

Dr. M. Pianezza has been a staff urologist in Sudbury at the Health Sciences North since January 2010. He was Head of Urology from February 2013 to September 2016. He is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

Dr. Heimrath completed his medical school at the University of Ottawa, his surgical residency at McGill University, and his Endourology, Minimally Invasive, and Robotics Fellowship at the University of Toronto. Dr. Heimrath’s areas of expertise include the management of complex kidney stones and urologic cancers as well as performing minimally invasive surgery. Since 2016, Dr. Heimrath has worked overseas in Malawi and Rwanda to explore opportunities to build urologic and surgical capacity in the developing world. He is a partner in the Urology Global Surgery initiative at the University of Toronto and holds a lecturer appointment with the University of Toronto.


Procedures & Conditions Treated


Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a clinical condition characterized by a malabsorption syndrome due to an increase in microorganisms within the small intestine.

Gastric ballon

The Clinic at Beverly Hills offers patients the option between two industry leading gastric balloon procedures. The traditional endoscopy guided Orbera Gastric Balloon and the revolutionary swallowable Allurion Gastric Balloon.

Laser Hemorrhoid Treatment

Hemorrhoids are a natural part of the human body and, when healthy, assist with the closure of the anus.

Hemorrhoids are vascular cushions that move blood to and from the anus and help support the function of the sphincter. Most people think of hemorrhoids as the disorder known as hemorrhoids or piles.

Stress Urinary Incontinence

Stress Urinary incontinence (SUI) means the uncontrollable loss of urine – an involuntary loss or leakage of urine during precipitating activities like coughing, laughing, sneezing, straining, exercising etc. Early signs of SUI are complaints relating to dysuria, frequency, and urgency. At TCBH Surgical Centre, we offer two treatment options for Stress Urinary Incontinence.


Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a condition in which your prostate grows in size. Your prostate is a gland that rests below your bladder and in front of your rectum. It’s about the size of a walnut, and it surrounds part of your urethra. Your urethra is a tube that carries urine and sperm (ejaculate) out of your body. If your prostate grows in size, it can prevent urine and ejaculation from passing through your urethra. BPH is not cancerous. However, symptoms of BPH may indicate more serious conditions, including prostate cancer. TCBH Surgical Centre provides two treatment options.

Rezum Water Therapy

How The Rezum™ Water Vapor Therapy Works

  • RezumTM Water Vapor Therapy is a novel technology that helps people who are suffering from BPH symptoms.
  • In each application, sterile water vapor is released to the targeted prostate tissue. When the steam turns back into the water, all the stored energy is released, causing the cells to die.
  • Over time, your body’s natural healing response removes the dead cells, shrinking the prostate. With the extra tissue removed, the urethra opens, reducing BPH symptoms.
  • The maximum benefit may occur within three months.
    Patients’ responses to treatment can and do vary.

Nanoknife for Prostate Cancer

NanoKnife or Irreversible Electroporation (IRE) consists of placing a number of electrodes into the prostate to surround the area of significant cancer.

Short pulses of electricity using very high voltage are passed between the electrodes. This causes micropores to occur in all cells, including the cancer cells, which lead to their death.

Dr. Luke Fazio is the current Chief of Urology at Humber River Hospital. Dr. Fazio received his medical degree from McGill University in 1999. Following this, he finished his Endourology and Minimally Invasive fellowship at the University of Toronto. As the Urology Medical Director, he has brought many minimally invasive programs to TCBH and is working on future projects. He currently sits on numerous committees and is an advocate for innovation in healthcare. He is the physician lead for the Da Vinci Robotic Surgery Program. He also is the Chair of the Innovation Committee.

Dr. Bhargava has a primary focus of providing care for her patients in the form of minimally invasive procedures and cutting edge technology. She is the Medical Director of TCBH Surgical Centre (The Clinic at Beverly Hills Healthcare) and has been instrumental in bringing Laser Hemorrhoid Treatment to her Centre.

Dr. Bhargava completed both her medical school and surgical residency at the University of Western Ontario. In addition to her Bariatric fellowship, she has also completed Minimally Invasive fellowship at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio.
Dr. Bhargava has published multiple research papers and lead articles.

Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Association of General Surgeons, Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, and American Society of Bariatric Surgery