There is a good news for elderly gentlemen who are more susceptible to suffer from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), an age-related enlargement of the prostate as they may not have to go under a knife if a non-invasive process that has worked for dogs also works for humans.

The method used in the study to treat dogs with BPH was pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF).

PEMF is a non-invasive method that generates both an electrical and magnetic field and is used in orthopaedics, neurology, and urology.

PEMF is very low frequency pulsed energy waves, also described as a weak non-thermal electromagnetic field. The energy comes from a hand-held device - a little wider than a TV remote control - and is simply placed over the affected area.

“Previous studies have suggested that reduced blood flow to the prostate gland and resulting inflammation contribute to the development of BPH. We know that PEMF has positive effects on similar conditions, so we thought it might also heal BPH or may be even prevent BPH from developing,” said Raffaella Leoci, lead scientist on the study and a researcher at University of Bari in Italy.

The study included 20 dogs with BPH. They received treatment with PEMF for five minutes, twice a day for three weeks. The device was simply held over the skin where the prostate is located.

An average 57 percent reduction in the size of the prostate resulted from PEMF treatment in only three weeks, a remarkable improvement.

The efficacy of PEMF on BPH in dogs, with no side effects, suggests that it might be a great treatment in humans.

The study appeared in the journal The Prostate.

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