Valley Urological Associates regularly features tips and information about how to maintain urological health. Be sure to check back regularly to learn about ways to maintain proper urological health!
September is Prostate Care Month
If you are a man it is more than likely you will experience some sort of prostate problem during your lifetime. There are three types of prostate problems: infection; enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia); and prostate cancer. Other sections of the Valley Urological Associates website provide extensive information on prostate problems, but here is a quick overview:
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, or BPH
BPH occurs when the prostate, the walnut-size gland that surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body, enlarges and causes a narrowing of the urethra. Although this enlargement is not cancerous, the symptoms of BPH can range from mildly annoying to severe, and include difficulty in urinating, difficulty in postponing the urge to urinate, leaking, and dribbling. Fortunately, there are effective treatments for BPH. Which treatment is right for you depends on your personal circumstances. Dr. Doebler or Dr. Corral will help you decide which treatment options are best for you:
- Active surveillance or watchful waiting. If your symptoms are minor and are not affecting your day-to-day activities, you and your doctor may agree that the best course of action is monitoring your symptoms to see if they worsen. If that happens, you may choose to take more aggressive steps.
- Medications. There are many prescription medications available that can relax muscles near your prostate or actually shrink the prostate. While medications present many advantages, you should make sure that you understand possible side effects. Also, stopping the medications will cause the symptoms to return.
- Minimally Invasive Treatment. There are a range of minimally invasive treatments for prostate problems. Although these are performed in the hospital, they are considered outpatient procedures and most patients go home the same day, and return to their normal daily routine within a few days. The advantage to many of the minimally invasive treatment options is that they often eliminate the symptoms completely, and permanently. These treatments involve targeting the prostate gland with radio waves, microwaves, or lasers, which eliminate the prostate tissue.
- Surgical Options. Depending on your personal situation, Dr. Doebler or Dr. Corral may decide that surgical removal of the prostate is the most appropriate option. While there are benefits, there are also risks, so make sure that you talk with your doctor.
The prostate can be susceptible to bacterial infections, and these are diagnosed as acute prostatitis. The symptoms of acute prostatitis vary, but often include fever, chills, lower back pain, and pain in the groin area. Urination may also be uncomfortable. The symptoms may appear quickly but are treatable with medication. You should see your doctor right away.
When acute prostatitis reoccurs frequently, it is considered chronic bacterial prostatitis. By definition this form can be difficult to treat and generally requires multiple courses of antibiotics.
Another condition affecting the prostate, particularly in younger men and middle-aged men, is chronic abacterial prostatitis, sometimes called Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome or CPPS. Symptoms often include lower back pain, painful ejaculation and frequent urination, pain between the legs, or at the tip of the penis. Although difficult to treat, multiple courses of antibiotics can be helpful in controlling it.
Although one of the most common forms of cancer in men, fortunately very few men die from prostate cancer because it is slow growing. If detected early before it spreads to other parts of the body, it is treatable.
Valley Urological Associates provides a range of treatment options for prostate cancer, including cryotherapy, which involves freezing the prostate gland, as well as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. If you have prostate cancer, Dr. Doebler or Dr. Corral will help you determine which treatment option, or options, are best for you.
For more information about prostate problems, check out other sections of the Valley Urological Associates website, or call 412-741-8025 for more information.