Over 17 million American men are affected by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as enlarged prostate. It has been estimated that half of all men between the ages of 50 and 80 have BPH and that as much as 80% of men aged 80 and older live with this condition. Having an enlarged prostate does not mean you have a higher risk for prostate cancer. This is good news. However, there is a risk that BPH could have complications.
Complications of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
BPH is not a life-threatening disease, but it is a condition that could threaten a man’s lifestyle and overall sense of wellness, even if it doesn’t cause complications. In some cases, the exaggerated size of the prostate blocks the urethra. The urethra is the tube-like structure that spans from the bladder, through the prostate, to the penis. If the urethra gets blocked by the prostate gland, a man may develop:
- Acute urinary retention. The blockage of the urethra completely disables a man’s ability to urinate. The bladder will need to be drained with a catheter.
- Chronic urinary retention. Partial obstruction of the urethra inhibits the full emptying of the bladder. Urine retention over an extended period could lead to kidney damage.
- Urinary tract infection. The retention of urine in the bladder may invite bacterial accumulation which leads to a painful infection.
- Bladder infections and bladder stones may also develop if urine retention is not detected and managed.
Treating Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Just Got Easier
Historically, BPH has been managed with medications or minimally invasive treatments such as microwave or high-frequency ablation. These modalities can improve symptoms but do not cure the enlarged prostate. Transurethral surgery has also been a common consideration for cases of BPH in which symptoms did not improve with other therapies. In our Plano office, men may now choose Prolieve® therapy for enlarged prostate.
Prolieve® heats and dilates the urethra simultaneously via a small catheter. During treatment, controlled microwave energy is transmitted through the probe to heat the prostate gland, causing tissue to contract and the prostate to shrink. Then, a tiny balloon within the catheter will slowly inflate inside the urethra near the prostate while water continually circulates through both structures. Microwave heating is carefully controlled and observed on the device monitor, and the system shuts off automatically if tissue surrounding the prostate reaches a specific temperature. Normal activities can be resumed shortly after treatment.
We are proud to offer the latest therapies for enlarged prostate and other urologic conditions. For more information on your treatment options, call our Plano office at (972) 403-5425.
Let’s Talk Screening
According to statistics, more than 2.5 million men in our country have prostate cancer. Research estimates that as many as 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with this disease at some point. This month being Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, we find it the perfect time to discuss what prostate cancer is and what screening involves.
Mutated cells in the walnut-sized prostate gland indicate cancer. The prostate is where the seminal fluid that transports sperm is produced. This gland is located in front of the rectum, just below the bladder. If cancerous cells begin to grow in the prostate gland, a man is not likely to know. Symptoms such as urinary difficulty or blood in the urine typically do not develop until the disease has progressed quite a bit. Because prostate cancer is a leading cause of death among men, screening is vital.
What Prostate Cancer Screening Involves
Many men are aware of the term PSA. This stands for prostate-specific antigen. PSA is a protein that is produced by the cells in the prostate gland. Even a healthy gland will produce a small amount of prostate-specific antigen. In scientific studies, it was found that men who had prostate cancer displayed significantly excessive levels of PSA. However, further investigation into this disease has revealed that some men with prostate cancer do not demonstrate high PSA, and some men with elevated PSA do not have cancerous prostate cells. While PSA may still be a general aspect of screening, it is not by any means a confirmation of cancer.
PSA blood work usually coincides with a digital rectal exam. This manual exam takes only a few minutes in the doctor’s office, and it provides valuable information regarding the size, shape, and texture of the prostate gland.
If an abnormality is discovered during a digital rectal exam or PSA levels are high, further testing may be advised. Prostate ultrasound and biopsy are the two second-level tests that are commonly performed to identify cancerous cells. An ultrasound provides a clear image of the prostate gland, including textural irregularities that may indicate cancerous cells. A biopsy may be the final screening. This test takes a small sample of cells from the prostate for microscopic examination.
Your Texas Urology Specialists can help you navigate the process of prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment. To learn more about screenings and procedures, call Collin County Urology at (972) 403-5425.
Humans have always engaged in physical activity to some degree. As we have transitioned into a mostly digital age, though, we are seeing fewer people maintain an active lifestyle. Outdoor sports have been replaced with indoor gaming for many men. Long hours and the office have replaced time in the yard or the fields – or even in the gym. Here, we want to discuss why exercise is so valuable by focusing in on a few critical aspects of men’s health.
More Enjoyable Sex
A healthy and enjoyable sex life requires physical stamina and a robust circulatory system. Studies show that men who work out four or more days a week report better endurance and optimal confidence that translates into more enjoyable sex.
Male sexual health has become an essential topic of discussion in recent years, with erectile dysfunction a primary concern expressed by many men. Erectile dysfunction may have many contributing factors. However, research suggests that the overall function of the penis is related to the general functionality of the cardiovascular system. Working out can help men with ED manage their symptoms, especially when attention is given to the pelvic floor, too. Exercise also increases muscle mass, which supports fat metabolism and optimal testosterone production.
How much exercise does a man need to boost sexual performance and enjoyment? According to a report in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, about 18 MET (metabolic equivalents). This looks like 6 hours of walking or other light activity a week, 3 hours of hiking or other moderate activity a week, or 2 hours of strenuous exercise such as running or high-intensity interval workouts.
It is estimated that over 150,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. Some studies suggest that a man’s commitment to regular exercise can lower his risk for this disease. In one study that observed prostatic tumors, researchers discovered that men who routinely walked or worked out moderately had more normal blood vessels within their tumor than men who did not exercise. After this study, researchers concluded that exercise might restrict the growth of prostatic tumors and increase men’s survival rate after prostate cancer treatment.
Your Plano urologist can help you address men’s health issues with suggestions for healthy living and with appropriate medical treatment when needed. Contact our office to schedule your visit.
Erectile dysfunction can be very disruptive to a man’s life. Recently, we have become more willing to talk about this problem. Men have more safe places in which to discuss their concerns related to an inability to get or maintain an erection. The increase in awareness has brought to light the fact that men have multiple options for how the deal with erectile dysfunction. At this point, virtually every man who has been living with the stress of this problem can find a solution that works for him. Here, we want to turn our attention to penile implants and the common questions men have about this method of treatment.
- Having a penile implant will not diminish your ability to orgasm. Furthermore, ejaculation is also usually unaffected by the implanted device. According to one study, it is even possible for men who were unable to orgasm before receiving an implant to regain this function after surgery. It is believed that this is because the psychological stress of erectile dysfunction is virtually nonexistent after an implant has been placed.
- Having a penile implant will mean that you can no longer get hard on your own. Both inflatable and non-inflatable penile implants are user-friendly and immediately functional, so not being able to spontaneously get an erection is usually inconsequential.
- A penile implant will neither lengthen nor shorten your erection. What this device will do, however, is change the way your penis looks when soft. After receiving a penile implant, your flaccid penis will appear slightly longer and more rigid than it did before treatment. This is usually discreet enough for men to feel comfortable at all times.
- You won’t have to give up your Sunday morning basketball game or any other sport. Cyclists may need to change their bike seat to accommodate their implant.
Urologists have been using penile implants to treat erectile dysfunction since the 1970s. This technique has been widely studied and has improved as newer technologies and materials have become available. A penile implant can help you find your way back to your best self. To learn more about this and other treatments for erectile dysfunction, call our Plano office and schedule a consultation.
One of the primary men’s health issues that receives attention is prostate cancer. According to research, though, we also have a good reason to turn our attention to the testicles. It is estimated that more than 9,000 diagnoses of testicular cancer will be made this year alone. This condition can cause mortality. Conversely, treatment for this type of cancer also has a very high success rate when conducted early. Here, we provide insight into this men’s health issue so you can more easily spot the signs that you need to see a doctor for comprehensive screening.
Warning Signs of Testicular Cancer
- A palpable lump in the testicles (unilateral or bilateral).
- Dull, persistent groin or abdominal aching.
- Testicular or scrotum pain.
- Fluid accumulation in the scrotum.
- Breast enlargement or tenderness.
These are the earliest indicators of testicular cancer; the signs that you need to see your doctor for specific tests. At best, a screening will rule out the presence of disease. At worst, a thorough exam provides valuable insight that enables your urologist to develop an appropriate treatment protocol to keep cancer from spreading.
Several diagnostic modalities may be used to evaluate testicular cancer. Your urologist will order screenings such as:
- Blood tests. Lab work can measure tumor markers that indicate the presence of cancer in the body. The initial testing provides a baseline for future observation to evaluate the efficacy of treatment if testicular cancer is confirmed.
- Ultrasound imaging is often one of the first methods of screening for testicular cancer. This non-invasive screening displays images of the inside of the testicles using sound waves. Healthy tissue appears white on an ultrasound, whereas cancerous tissue will appear dark, demonstrating the presence and extent of cancer.
- CT scan. This test may be ordered after a diagnosis has been confirmed. CT scan imaging displays a cross-section of tissue that enables your urologist to grade the stage of cancer and identify any metastasis to other organs.
- MRI imaging may be ordered if there is a reason to suspect that cancer has spread to the spinal cord or brain.
The Importance of Early Intervention
Testicular cancer can metastasize to other organs. If this happens, symptoms will extend to the affected area. For example, chronic stomach pain may develop if cancer spreads to the liver or causes enlarged lymph nodes in the abdominal area. Interestingly, if the lymph nodes in the abdomen become enlarged, low back pain may be the warning sign. Testicular cancer may also spread to the lungs and the brain, causing symptoms such as shortness of breath and chronic headaches. The spread of cancer cells throughout the body does not mean treatment will be unsuccessful. It does, however, indicate that more aggressive treatment may be necessary.
What You Can Do Right Now to Protect Your Health
Routine testicular exams are the best method we have to detect testicular cancer early. Some doctors encourage men to perform a self-exam every month. During this brief exam, a man feels the testicles for lumps or other irregularities. The benefit of monthly exams is that a more accurate familiarity with what is normal. Therefore, any changes in appearance, feel, or physical sensation will be quickly noticed.
The prognosis for testicular cancer can be very good with early detection. Do you have questions about this condition? Call (972) 403-5425 to schedule a visit at Collin County Urology.
Approximately 1 in 5 women will suffer the uncomfortable symptoms of a urinary tract infection in her lifetime. Many women are prone to these minor infections and must develop strategies to minimize the risk of bacterial invasion into the bladder. The symptoms of a UTI are pretty easy to identify, especially if you’ve had more than one infection. What needs to be known about the signs of a urinary tract infection is that they very closely resemble those that are associated with interstitial cystitis.
Two conditions with similar symptoms can create frustration because the path to relief comes in two different ways. Here, we discuss the cause of urinary tract infection symptoms vs. those of interstitial cystitis so more women can obtain adequate treatment when they need it.
What causes urinary tract infection?
Bacteria are at the heart of a urinary tract infection, or UTI. Tiny microorganisms get into the urethra under the right circumstances. According to research, sex may be one of the prime opportunities for a urinary tract infection to begin. Additional risks include diabetes, holding urine too long, and chronic constipation. Whatever it is that allows bacteria to accumulate in the urethra and the bladder, symptoms are soon to follow.
Indications of a urinary tract infection include:
- Frequent, intense need to urinate.
- Burning sensation with urination.
- Low urine output after urgent need to urinate.
- Cloudy or dark-colored urine.
- Foul urine odor.
- Pain in the pelvic area or low back.
- Fever and chills.
What causes interstitial cystitis?
The same symptoms that occur as a result of bacteria can result when the there is an abnormality in the lining of the bladder. This is the case with interstitial cystitis, a pelvic condition for which there is no known cause. The similarities between the two may initially lead to confusion. However, the standard screening performed to diagnose a urinary tract infection measures the existence of bacteria in the urine. If a urinalysis comes back negative (no bacteria), further tests may be performed to observe the condition of the bladder lining.
Treatment options for interstitial cystitis continue to improve, and many women can manage symptoms well with appropriate lifestyle modifications. The first step in resolving uncomfortable symptoms is to consult with an experienced Urologist. To schedule a visit to our Plano office, call (972) 403-5425.