It’s a fact – prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers diagnosed in American men, second only to skin cancer. Even so, a prostate cancer diagnosis can often come as a surprise, because many men do not experience any prior symptoms. Prostate cancer awareness is vital, because even in the absence of symptoms, it can be a serious medical condition.
Both the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test and digital rectal examination (DRE) are recommended for prostate cancer screening. The PSA test is a simple blood test that measures the level of a protein produced inside the prostate gland and is effective for early detection. However, it’s not clear if, for all men, the potential benefits of testing outweigh the possible risks, such as detecting and treating cancers that may never cause any problems. It’s important to talk to a healthcare provider about the pros and cons of prostate cancer screening.
While a primary care physician can perform the routine screenings, there are times when a urologist is the best choice. Typically, an elevated PSA level prompts a visit to a urologist, who will perform a prostate biopsy to confirm or rule out cancer. Urologists are specially trained to treat problems affecting the urinary tract and disorders of the male reproductive system. If the diagnosis is prostate cancer, a urologist can carry out or manage treatment, which may range from active surveillance to radiation therapy to surgery.
Men who have high levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in their blood face troubling uncertainties. While it’s true that prostate cancer can elevate PSA, so can other conditions, including the benign prostate enlargement that afflicts many men as they get older. PSA levels also vary normally from one man to the next, and some men have unusually high levels even when they’re perfectly healthy. To rule out cancer, doctors might recommend a biopsy. Yet prostate biopsies pose risks of infection, and they can also miss cancer in men who truly have the disease. Most prostate biopsies are guided by transrectal ultrasound, an imaging technology that allows doctors to see the gland while taking tissue samples (called cores) with specialized needles. Tumors may not show up on ultrasound, however, so the biopsy needles might never hit a cancerous target.
A more precise way to investigate elevated PSA results.
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Prostate Cancer is the most common cancer among men today, with more than 2 million men in the United States counting themselves as survivors. Samir Shirodkar, M.D., a urologist affiliated with Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital, offers insights that every man (and woman) should know about prostate cancer.
Your family history matters.
Family history is one of the most important things to understand and communicate with your physician when it comes to prostate cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, the risk of developing prostate cancer more than doubles if a father or brother has a history of prostate cancer.
The longer you live, the higher your risk.
The chance of developing prostate cancer rapidly increases after the age of 65. Dr. Shirodkar recommends patients begin having prostate screenings between 50-55 years of age, unless they have a family history of prostate cancer. It is recommended that men with a family history of prostate cancer begin screenings in their 40s.
Different races have higher occurrences of prostate cancer.
African American men are nearly 2.4 times more likely to die from prostate cancer than men from other ethnicities. Among the 10 leading causes of cancer death in African American men, prostate cancer is second only behind lung cancer and is the fourth leading cause of death among African American men over age 45.
Should Know About Prostate Cancer?
Binod Sinha, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Dr. Sinha finished his urology residency training at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis June, 1985 and was Board Certified in 1988. He is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital as an active attending and clinical assistant professor in the Department of Urology at UMDNJ. He is actively involved in teaching urology residents.
Dr. Sinha believes that total health involves the understanding of each patient’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs. He spends a lot of time with the patient counseling and discussing all of the alternative treatments. He believes in early diagnosis and preventive medicine. He regularly attends national urology meetings to keep current on the diagnosis and treatment of genitourinary diseases. Dr. Sinha organizes several CME meetings in Central New Jersey. He was invited to present papers in Berlin, Germany in September 2008. He was invited as Course Director for Office Based Surgery in April 2009 for the Chicago American Urology Association (AUA) meeting.
What is urinary incontinence? What causes it?
Urinary Incontinence is a common problem in men, women and children, which is defined as loss of bladder control or involuntary urination. It involves occasional leakage of urine when you sneeze or cough and a sudden and strong urge to urinate that you don’t get to toilet in time. It might cause embarrassment to the individuals affecting their daily activities. Simple lifestyle changes and medications as per doctor’s recommendations can stop the problem.
This post was originally published on OregonLive.com on December 11, 2009 and was our top-read post of all time, so we’ve moved it here.
Ladies, this post is for you. 30%-40% of women are bothered by exercise-induced urinary incontinence.A topic that I have long wanted to write about is exercise-induced urinary incontinence, aka, leaking urine when you run. Why? Because it’s more common than you might think, and if even one runner gets treatment and enjoys running more because of this post, I will be happy. It’s a health problem. No pee jokes or pelvis jokes – this is serious stuff. Dr. Virginia Smith, an OBGYN with Kaiser Permanente, was kind enough to answer my questions about the condition for our blog. She explains that the term “stress urinary incontinence” is the medical term for urinary incontinence that occurs during physical stress, which includes not only running but even actions as common as sneezing. “Exercise-induced urinary incontinence” is simply a descriptive term for urinary incontinence that happens specifically when exercising.
Nearly every man over the age of 50 experiences symptoms of prostate gland enlargement. The symptoms are going to the bath room frequently, poor force of the urine stream, dribbling after urination and perhaps the most troublesome of all is getting up at night to urinate. Every night, between 12 and 15 million men in the U.S. are likely to have loss of sleep because of an enlarged prostate gland. This article will discuss the purpose of the prostate gland and what treatment options are available for this common condition.
The prostate gland is typically the size and shape of a walnut and is located in the lower part of the pelvis, below the bladder. It envelops the urethra, the tube through which urine flows from the bladder out of the body. When the prostate gland grows bigger – which happens to virtually every man as he ages – it can compress the urethra and make it difficult to pass urine.
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