Posts for category: General
Find out more about prostate cancer, its symptoms, and ways to protect yourself.
The prostate is a small gland that’s only found in the male reproductive system. Its most important function is to produce prostate fluid, which is one key component of semen. Unfortunately, prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in men along with skin cancer and the second leading cause of death in American men. From the office of our Milford, MA, urologist Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg, here’s what you should know about prostate cancer.
What are the warning signs and symptoms of prostate cancer?
Like most forms of cancer, prostate cancer won’t cause symptoms during the very early stages. As cancer progresses men may start to experience,
- A burning sensation or sudden urgency when urinating
- Difficulty starting or completing urination
- Urinary leakage
- Difficulty having or maintaining an erection
- Pain with ejaculation
- Rectal pain or pressure
- Blood in the urine
- Pain in the lower back or hips
Of course, there are many reasons why a man may experience these symptoms, so when you come into our Milford, MA, office, our urologist will ask you a series of questions and then provide the appropriate tests to determine what could be causing your symptoms.
What are the risk factors for prostate cancer?
It’s important to know your risk factors for prostate cancer so you can talk to your urologist about ways to protect your health. Risk factors include,
- Age: the majority of men diagnosed with prostate cancer are over 65 years old
- Ethnicity: being African American or Caribbean also puts you at an elevated risk
- Family history of prostate cancer: this can more than double your risk for developing prostate cancer
It still isn’t clear whether factors such as chemical exposure, diet, or obesity may play a role in whether men are more likely to develop prostate cancer during their lifetime.
Is there a way to prevent prostate cancer?
While there is no effective strategy that can fully prevent you from developing prostate cancer, you must be doing your part to lead a healthy lifestyle, which includes regular exercise, eating well, and limiting alcohol. If you are a man between the ages of 55 and 69, you must talk with your urologist about getting screened for prostate cancer every year.
If you are concerned about your prostate health, it’s never too soon to start talking with our Milford, MA, urologist about ways to stay healthy and protect against prostate cancer. If you have questions or concerns, call Urology Specialists of Milford today at (508) 473-6333.
About five percent of men who are 40 years of age have complete erectile dysfunction (ED); that number increases to 15 percent for 70-year-olds. Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get and keep an erection that is firm enough for sex.
ED can be triggered by stress, a reduction in sexual desire, or an underlying health issue. One’s ability to get and maintain an erection requires the proper functioning of psychologic, neurologic, endocrine, vascular, and local anatomic systems combined.
For this reason, diagnosing the condition typically involves a variety of testing. Let’s explore how this is done.
Testing for ED
Your clinician will first ask a series of questions. It’s best to keep track of when your symptoms started and how long they’ve been a problem, because these answers will be important in this phase of diagnosis.
There are many risk factors associated with ED, from medical conditions such as high blood pressure to psychological conditions such as stress, depression, or anxiety. The list of possible triggers is boundless, so your physician will begin with an evaluation of your medical history.
Your doctor may also ask you to fill out a questionnaire that answers how confident you are about keeping an erection, whether you have erections when you wake up in the morning, how often you find sexual intercourse satisfying, and how often you’re able to climax, orgasm, and ejaculate.
While these topics may feel taboo to discuss, doing so can make all the difference in solving your erectile issues. Remember that a urologist diagnoses and treats health issues like these every day, so there is no reason to be embarrassed.
Examination Techniques for Erectile Dysfunction
Your urologist will conduct a physical exam of the testes and penis – which will test for sensation and other issues. This exam will also confirm whether there may be an issue with the nerve endings in these areas.
Your doctor may direct you to have lab work done if you haven’t already done so. Both urinalysis and blood draws will help to diagnose many different health conditions, and they will also indicate whether heart disease, diabetes, or low testosterone levels are to blame for your ED.
Radiology imaging is integral to the field of medicine and to diagnosing of health issues. Ultrasound – which is a commonly known type of radiology due to its role in pregnancy – is beneficial for detecting poor blood flow in the genital area, as well as recording the speed and direction of blood flow.
Psychological Causes for ED
There is sometimes a psychological factor involved in health conditions such as ED, so a mental health evaluation may be a necessary part of your diagnosis. NYU Langone Health estimates that approximately 10 percent of ED cases have a psychological component; ED due to psychological reasons tends to be more common in younger men.
If you’re experiencing extreme stress at work, or you have a history of depression, it may be impacting you sexually. The most common mental triggers for erectile dysfunction are fear of sexual failure, depression, and stress.
Who Can Help Treat My ED?
Seeking the medical advice of a reputable and trustworthy urologist can help you get back to feeling like yourself again. Led by board-certified urologist Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg, Urology Specialists of Milford diagnoses and treats a variety of men’s health issues – including low testosterone, male infertility, and ED.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call us today at (508) 473-6333or fill out our appointment request form here. We look forward to helping you achieve optimal health and wellness so you can enjoy life to the fullest.
Urology Specialists of Milford, LLC recently redesigned their practice website to include more ways for patients to interact with our office.
We will be blogging about the latest information regarding research and advancements in Urology. The blog will also be used as a forum to share news about Urology Specialists of Milford, LLC in the community.
Check back often for new blog posts. We welcome your comments and invite you to share this information with your friends and family.
Have a question about our practice or something you’ve seen in the news?
You can leave a comment below or contact us.
As men age, the risk of developing an enlarged prostate increases significantly. It is estimated that, by the age of 60, nearly half of all men will experience an enlarged prostate, otherwise known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). An estimated 90 percent of men will have it by the age of 80.
When the prostate becomes enlarged, it can block the flow of urine from the bladder, leading to frequent urges to urinate along with difficulty urinating.
Although this condition can be frustrating and disruptive, an enlarged prostate is not cancerous or immediately threatening to your health. However, the worse the condition gets, the more pressure the prostate puts on your urethra, blocking semen and urine from exiting your body.
If you are diagnosed with BPH, your doctor might advise you to try at least one of the following remedies.
Alpha blockers and 5-alpha reductase (5-AR) inhibitors are two different medications used to treat an enlarged prostate.
Alpha blockers do this by relaxing the muscles around your bladder and prostate, making it easier for urine to flow. These work fairly quickly and symptoms may improve within a few days of starting the medication, although it can take up to six weeks to notice the full effect.
The 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, on the other hand, can take a few months to work. It treats your condition by lowering the levels of DHT (dihydrotestosterone), the hormone believed to cause an enlarged prostate, essentially shrinking your prostate in the process.
Antibiotics may be used to treat inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis) which sometimes occurs with BPH. Over-the-counter supplements, such as saw palmetto, may help relieve BPH symptoms.
If your blockage is mild to moderate, your doctor might prescribe a type of heat therapy that can help alleviate symptoms such as weak urine flow and frequent urination.
Transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT) is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure performed under anesthesia that involves inserting an instrument into the urethra and up into the prostate. The device transmits microwave energy that heats and kills some of the tissue lining the inside of the prostate, shrinking the organ and allow urine to pass more easily.
It is considered to be more effective than medication.
If medication or surgery are not viable options due to other medical conditions, your doctor may recommend inserting a prostatic stent to expand the urethra opening, allowing urine to flow more easily.
During this outpatient procedure and while under anesthesia, a tiny coil (the stent) is inserted into your urethra and positioned in the area narrowed by the enlarged prostate. Once the stent is in place, it expands like a spring to help keep the walls of the urethra open.
As a last resort, your doctor may recommend surgery to relieve the pressure on your urethra from an enlarged prostate.
There are several options available, which either shrink the size of the prostate – such as a transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), laser surgery, or open prostatectomy – or widen the urethra, such as a transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP).
While surgery is the most invasive treatment, it is generally believed to be the most successful at relieving symptoms of BPH.
For more information about your options in dealing with an enlarged prostate call Urology Specialists of Milford at (508) 473-6333. You can also request an appointment with Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg using our convenient online form.
It’s a common scenario: You go to the bathroom to pee, and what you see next shocks you. But should you notice blood in your urine, don’t ignore it – report it to your urologist immediately.
The presence of blood in urine is called hematuria. There are two types: microscopic or gross hematuria. Microscopic hematuria means that the blood in your urine can only be seen under a microscope. Gross hematuria is when the blood is visible to the naked eye and appears red, brown, or pink.
Blood in the urine can indicate any number of medical conditions or disorders, including:
- Enlarged Prostate – enlargement of the prostate gland (also called benign prostatic hyperplasia) that can cause difficulty urinating
- Kidney Stones – small, hard deposits that form within the urinary tract and can be painful as it passes out of the body
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) – a common infection that may affect the kidneys, bladder or urethra (the duct through which urine exists the body)
- Cancer – blood in the urine can be a sign of cancer within the urinary tract, such as prostate cancer, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, or cancer affecting the urethra
- Kidney Disease – a chronic condition that leads to renal failure
In addition, certain medications, such as blood thinners, pain relievers, and antibiotics may sometimes cause blood to appear in the urine.
A urologist will likely begin with a urine test to assess the situation. A detailed medical history, including a current list of medications, is an important part of correctly diagnosing and treating the underlying reason for the blood in the urine.
A physical exam will also be done to check for pain in the bladder or kidneys. Men may be asked to have rectal and prostate exams to check for symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Women may undergo a pelvic exam to discover whether the blood may be coming from the uterus.
Treatment will depend on what is causing the hematuria. For example, a urinary tract infection may require antibiotics; kidney stones may require medication or in-office procedures to either break up or help the stones successfully pass out of the body.
To learn more about hematuria, and what to do if you see blood in your urine, call Urology Specialists of Milford at (508) 473-6333 to request an appointment with Dr. Steinberg.