Urology Specialists of Milford, LLC Blog

Posts for category: Prostate Cancer

As they age, men run the very common risk of having an enlarged prostate, also known as Benign Prostate Hyperplasia or BPH. While most men will experience some sort of prostate issue during his life, the good news is that an enlarged prostate does not always indicate a more serious condition such as cancer. However, an enlarged prostate does bring with it its own set of inconveniences and problems. If you are experiencing any of the following signs, changes are you may have an enlarged prostate and should seek treatment as soon as you can before matters become worse.

Nocturia: midnight bathroom runs.

It starts innocently enough, with a few midnight trips to the bathroom. But over time, the trips become more frequent, making long car rides or meetings at work difficult to bear without removing oneself to void.

Difficulty urinating.

When the prostate gland, which surrounds the urethra, enlarges, it can shut off the ability to urinate, making urination difficult and sometimes painful. Urinary hesitancy occurs when the stream starts slowly until it becomes consistent. At times, there is a sensation of wanting to urinate, but with moot results. Weak flow is also a symptom of an enlarged prostate.

Frequent urinary tract infections.

When the bladder doesn’t fully void, there runs a risk of developing chronic urinary tract infections. While more common in women, UTIs are do occur in men with enlarged prostate; that’s because bacteria can build up over time if it is not carried away through urination. Any sort of burning sensation, chills, or cloudy urine may be signs of a urinary tract infection and, thus, an enlarged prostate.

Blood in Urine

An enlarged prostate may also present as blood in the urine; this may mean that there are other complications involved, such as an infection or possibly cancer.

Treatment

Treating BPH depends on the extent of one’s symptoms, the size of the prostate, the age of the patient and the amount of discomfort caused by the prostate’s enlargement. After confirming your condition with a series of tests, your urologist may choose a more conservative measure of treatment, such as medication; or surgical treatment if your symptoms are more advanced

Your Urologist in Milford

If you have any of the above symptoms of an enlarged prostate or are experiencing any other urological concerns, contact the Urology Specialists of Milford by calling (508) 473-6333, or request an appointment online. Don’t suffer in silence, an enlarged prostate is extremely common and fairly simple to treat, as long as you are willing to get checked. Trust your prostate health to the best – call us today.

Most people are familiar with the primary duty of the bladder. Your bladder’s main job is to hold the urine that your kidneys produce until you are ready to go to the bathroom to release it. Some people claim to have tiny ones to justify frequent bathroom trips, but that’s usually not a sign of something serious or more concerning – such as bladder cancer.

Bladder cancer can develop for some people when the cell growth within your bladder grows out of control. Once a tumor grows from that cell growth, it can spread to other areas of your body, like the lymph nodes or your liver.

If you suspect that you may have bladder cancer or could be at risk, keep in mind that the most common symptom of the disease is blood in urine, not just frequent bathroom trips. The disease itself is also incredibly rare, making up only about 5% of new cancer cases. Your risks of getting bladder cancer, however, may go up if you have a past history of smoking, a history of bladder infections, or are taking certain medications for diabetes.

Seek out a medical professional if you suspect that you could be at risk, or just for a precautionary screening of your bladder. First, your doctor would likely ask about your family history, as the cause for bladder cancer is mostly unknown and genetics is the likely cause in most cases. Has someone in your family suffered from bladder cancer or cancer of the urinary tract? That could be a red flag that doctors look for.

Your doctor will also order several tests, ranging from a DRE (digital rectal exam) to a urinalysis, a test to analyze your urine for any substances, blood, or other signs of trouble. These exams are all considered non-invasive, which are ideal routes your doctor will take before deciding to continue with more invasive exams. Imaging tests like MRIs or CT scans can also be ordered so that your doctor can get a clearer picture of your bladder’s health.

Depending on the results of imaging and other testing, your doctor will provide a diagnosis and more information on whether the disease has progressed into a specific stage or not. Bladder cancer is usually classified into different stages, known as TNM: T for the tumor stage, N for the lymph nodes stage, and M for metastasized, when the disease has spread to other organs.

It will also be classified by numbers how much the disease has progressed, as is traditionally done with any other cancer diagnosis. Stage 1 indicates that the bladder cancer is still within the cell wall. Stage 2 indicates bladder cancer that has now grown through the tissue and into your muscle. Stage 3 indicates the invasion of your nearby fat cells and may have spread to nearby organs like the vagina, prostate, or uterus. Stage 4 indicates that the cancer has spread to multiple organs and may or may not have already infiltrated the lymph nodes.

Depending on your prognosis, your doctor will decide the best course of treatment. Your bladder cancer might be treatable with surgery or a cystectomy, which is when they remove a part or your entire bladder. If the disease has progressed further, radiation or chemotherapy will be recommended.

If you suspect you might have bladder cancer or notice blood in your urine, speak to a medical professional as soon as possible. Call Urology Specialists of Milford at (508) 473-6333 or request an appointment online.

After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer in men. It affects 1 in 6 men in the United States and is the leading cause of death among American men, after lung cancer.

However, don’t let these statistics scare you. When detected early, the cure rate is very high. Most men who are diagnosed and treated before the cancer has spread to other parts of the body have a survival rate of 96 percent or higher.

The prostate is a gland about the size of a walnut and is located between the bladder and urethra. It is responsible for producing fluid for semen. Prostate cancer is typically a slow-developing progressive disease. 

Men over 65 years old, those with a family history of the disease, or who are African-American have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.  

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer 

Many men may be tempted to ignore the symptoms of prostate cancer. It is important to remember that survival rates are the best when prostate cancer is identified and treated early. A checkup can put your mind at ease. 

Here are the symptoms of prostate cancer that you should not ignore:

  1. Inability to Control Urination: Difficulty starting or stopping urination, or an inability to urinate are common symptoms of prostate issues such as cancer or an enlarged prostate. Seek immediate medical attention. 
  2. Frequent Urination: Frequent urges to urinate, sometimes leading to urinary incontinence. These urges can occur at any time but may be especially prevalent at night. Any change in your usual pattern or routine can be a symptom of prostate cancer.
  3. Painful Urination: Pain while urinating can be a symptom of many things. It should never hurt to urinate. 
  4. Blood in Urine: If you notice blood in your urine (“hematuria”), whether red, pink, or dark brown in color, seek medical attention.
  5. Low Back Pain: Low back pain is one of the most common types of back pain. People usually attribute it to injury or medical conditions such as arthritis. It is also a symptom of prostate cancer. Various studies have shown that older men who reported low back pain were five times more likely to have an incidence of prostate cancer versus the men who did not experience lower back pain.
  6. Thigh, Hip, or Pelvic Pain: Prostate issues can sometimes cause pain that radiates to other areas of the body, especially to the thighs, hips, or pelvis.

Prostate Cancer Screenings

Urologists can detect prostate cancer early and provide treatment immediately, ultimately saving the lives of millions of men. 

If you are 50 or older, your doctor will likely recommend an annual blood test for prostate-specific antigens (PSA). However, if you have an increased risk of prostate cancer, regular PSA screenings may begin earlier.

PSA levels are usually elevated in men with prostate cancer. For this reason, PSA screenings remain an important diagnostic tool.

A digital rectal exam, used to feel for anything unusual in the area, is another common prostate cancer screening.

To learn more about prostate cancer screenings, call Urology Specialists of Milford at (508) 473-6333 to request an appointment with Dr. Steinberg.