Urology Specialists of Milford, LLC Blog

Posts for tag: Prostate Cancer

By UROLOGY SPECIALISTS OF MILFORD, LLC
December 31, 2020
Category: General
Tags: Prostate Cancer  

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.

By UROLOGY SPECIALISTS OF MILFORD, LLC
March 26, 2020
Tags: Prostate Cancer  

Are you a man approaching age 50? Know that your doctor will want you to begin routine prostate cancer screening. At Urology Specialists of Milford, board-certified urologist, Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg, checks numerous Milford, MA, male patients for signs of prostate cancer and also provides innovative diagnostic testing and treatment.

What is the prostate?

It's the walnut-sized organ surrounding the urethra in the male urinary tract. Responsible for semen production, the prostate tends to enlarge with middle-age. This condition is called Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy, or BPH.

BPH is not prostate cancer. However, the incidence of malignancy in the prostate increases coincidentally in older men with enlarged prostates.

What is prostate cancer?

The prostate is a site for malignancy within the capsule of the organ itself. Unfortunately, the cancer can spread—albeit slowly—outside the prostate to other areas of the body.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that 13 percent of American men will receive a prostate cancer diagnosis in their lifetimes. Two to three percent of that number will die from this cancer. That's why routine screening is so important.

Diagnosis of prostate cancer

To screen for prostate cancer, your Milford urologist uses two tests. One is the digital rectal exam, or DRE, a quick palpation of the prostate through the rectum. Additionally, Dr. Steinberg uses the Prostate Specific Antigen test, or PSA, a simple blood test that detects the markers for prostate cancer.

Risk factors

Age is the biggest risk, along with ethnicity. The CDC states that African-American men are more prone to develop this cancer. Additionally, smoking, diet, and heredity factor into the diagnosis.

Symptoms

Symptoms vary widely. In fact, many men exhibit no symptoms. However, you should inform your urologist if you display the following:

  • Weak or interrupted urine flow
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Frequent urination at night
  • Urine retention after voiding

Treating prostate cancer

Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg is a prostate cancer expert, making available the latest in treatment techniques. To refine your diagnosis and your treatment plan, Dr. Steinberg may use:

  • A complete medical history and physical exam
  • A 4K score, a blood test which predicts future spread of the disease after treatment and a negative biopsy
  • Prostate MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
  • Transrectal ultrasound biopsy
  • Genetic marker testing after a positive biopsy

You can conquer prostate cancer

Urology Specialists of Milford will partner with you in overcoming this disease. If it's time for your routine screening, or you have a concern about your urinary tract health, please contact your Milford, MA, urologist, Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg, for an appointment. Phone (508) 473-6333 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.

It is inevitable that most men, especially as they age, will at some point experience some sort of urological problem. These complications could also be a result of certain conditions, injury, genetics, or even a birth defect. Urinary health is a vital component of a man’s healthcare. Urology focuses on the health of the urinary tract, which encompasses the kidney’s, bladder, urethra, and reproductive system, and is responsible for removing waste (urine) from the body.

Urologists have special training and knowledge of men’s health and what to do for the male urinary tract and reproductive system, should an issue arise. Many times, problems like urinary incontinence, infertility, and bladder infections (UTIs) are common problems that are often associated with women. However, this is not always the case, as men can be affected too. This can often cause embarrassment, and effect self-esteem, confidence, and quality of life. Therefore, when issues do arise, it is crucial that a man seek help from a urologist as early as possible, so further complications do not occur.

Here are a few of the most common urological conditions that affect men: 

  1. Enlarged Prostate (BPH): Having an enlarged prostate is one of the most common issues for men, especially older men. This condition is called Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH. BPH occurs when the prostate, a walnut shaped gland located between the bladder and urethra, becomes enlarged, making it hard to urinate. Some men experience a sensation that they need to urinate, but nothing comes out, due to swelling of the bladder and prostate. BPH can be dangerous if left untreated, with kidney problems and infections a distinct possibility. The urologist will test a man’s PSA level (Prostate-Specific Antigen, a protein produced by the prostate), and if levels are high, it can indicate a possible diagnosis of prostate cancer.
  2. Prostate Cancer: Prostate cancer happens to be the second leading cause of death for men. It occurs when cells in the prostate become cancerous and start to grow uncontrollably. All men need to have their PSA level checked annually as well as have a digital rectal exam. Depending on the man’s PSA levels, and severity of the cancer, treatment options will vary and may include chemotherapy and radiation.
  3. Erectile Dysfunction (ED): Erectile Dysfunction is a common condition that affects men, with 52 percent of men age 40 and up experiencing ED in the United States. ED occurs when a man is unable to get or maintain an erection for sexual intercourse. It’s not uncommon for a man to feel embarrassed or depressed in this situation, as sexual health is an extremely important part of an intimate relationship. If they feel like they are not providing or pulling their weight, it hurts their confidence and self-esteem. Fortunately, the urologist has many treatment options for erectile dysfunction, including medication, hormone replacement, surgery, etc. 
  4. Prostatitis or UTI: Men can get a urinary tract infection just like women can. If it burns when you pee, or the urine is cloudy, this can be a sign that bacteria are in your urinary tract and could result in a UTI. Generally, a UTI can be treated with antibiotics. Prostatitis is an infection in the prostate that is similar to a UTI, but can cause painful urination, abdominal pain, pelvic and lower back pain.
  5. Urinary Incontinence: Urinary incontinence is a more common condition for men as they get older. This occurs when muscles in the pelvic wall weaken, causing a person to lose control of their bladder, causing leaking, or someone to have to pee frequently.

Infertility: Infertility doesn’t only affect women. A man is the other part of the equation. 15 percent of couples are infertile, meaning after having sex for about a year, they are unable to conceive a child. Half of that percentage of couples contributes to the male side.  A urologist can help properly diagnose the cause of infertility and help create a treatment plan. Treatment for infertility depends on what is causing it, which could be hormone levels, mood, stress, low sperm count, etc.

To learn more about the common urological conditions that could affect men, and what treatment options are available, call Urology Specialists of Milford at (508) 473-6333, or request an appointment online. A Harvard trained and board-certified urologist, Dr. Steinberg has extensive knowledge of the many ways that men’s health can be affected. He will diagnose your condition, and find the safest, most effective treatment for each individual.