Annual Prostate Check-Ups Are for More Than Just Prostate Cancer

   March 1, 2016   

NEW YORK, March 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Lenox Hill robotic prostate surgeon, David Samadi, MD, urges men to get annual prostate checks and maintain prostate health. Most people believe this is only about diagnosing prostate cancer, but non-malignant prostate enlargement is one of the most common things affecting men particularly as they age.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (aka BPH, benign prostatic hypertrophy, or an enlarged prostate) is a condition that affects men, principally over the age of 50. As men get older, the prostate gland naturally becomes enlarged. This can put pressure on the bladder and urethra, causing problems with urination. By 50 years of age 50% of men will have some degree of BPH and at 85, 75% will have BPH.  The signs and symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia are related to urination because the enlarging of the prostate puts pressure on the urethra which decreases the flow of urine.  Common symptoms include:

  • Decreased force of stream
  • Hesitancy
  • Intermittent stream
  • Dribbling
  • Nocturia: nighttime waking in order to urinate
  • Pain with urination
  • Bloody urine
  • Incomplete emptying of the bladder

In its most severe form, patients can develop kidney problems secondary to incomplete bladder emptying. It can be difficult to initially determine whether BPH is the underlying cause of these symptoms because less than half of all men with enlarged prostates experience symptoms.

Because BPH progresses slowly, most men can make the decision on their own about if and when they should be treated. In few cases, BPH symptoms are severe enough to require immediate treatment. The treatment options available for BPH depend on the severity of your symptoms. The most common treatment options include watchful waiting, prescription medications, or surgery. Treatment for BPH is divided into two main types—medical and surgical. Medical therapy includes alpha-blockers and 5 a-reductase inhibitors.  Surgeries available to reduce the size of the prostate include laser therapy, transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) and microwave/radio wave therapies.

The risk factors for prostate gland enlargement include aging, family history, ethnic background, diabetes, heart disease, and lifestyle. Prostate gland enlargement rarely causes signs and symptoms in men younger than age 40. About one-third of men experience moderate to severe symptoms by age 60, and about half do so by age 80. Having a blood relative, such as a father or brother, with prostate problems means you’re more likely to have problems. Furthermore, prostate enlargement is less common in Asian men than in white and black men. Black men might experience symptoms at a younger age than white men. Studies show that diabetes, as well as heart disease and use of beta blockers, might increase the risk of BPH. Lastly, obesity increases the risk of BPH, while exercise can lower your risk.

According to Dr. Samadi, “The most common prostate issues include prostate cancer, enlarged prostate due to BPH, or prostatitis.”  The best way to reduce your risk of prostate problems is by living a healthy lifestyle, and employing natural ways to promote better prostate health.   If you are already experiencing prostate troubles, some basic changes to your diet or daily activities can help keep these conditions from getting worse, help relieve symptoms, and even help cure them.

Patients who are newly diagnosed with prostate cancer, or prostate related illness, can contact world renowned prostate cancer surgeon and urologic oncologist, Dr. David Samadi, for a phone consultation. Call 212.365.5000 to set up your consultation with Dr. Samadi.

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