Prostate -- Questions to Ask Your Doctor
1. What are the symptoms of prostate enlargement?
2. If I have enlargement symptoms, what are my treatment choices?
3. What can I do to prevent enlargement of the prostate and the symptoms?
4. What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?
5. When should I start being screened for prostate cancer and what tests are included in screening?
6. What symptoms are associated with prostate cancer?
7. What can I do to reduce my risk of having prostate cancer?
8. What causes prostate infection? What are the symptoms and how is it treated? How can I avoid a prostate infection?
What men should know about prostate cancer:
- 1 in 6 men will have it in their lifetime. The risk increases with age and obesity.
- It is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men.
- Men with no family history or symptoms should have a digital rectal exam and PSA done beginning at age 55 to screen for prostate cancer.
- Prostate cancer can be cured when detected early. Prostate cancer in the early stages does not cause symptoms. Depending on a man's health, not every man needs early treatment.
What men should know about prostate enlargement:
The prostate starts enlarging at age 40. It is not associated with cancer. The enlargement varies between men. Symptoms of slow stream, hesitancy of urination, dribbling and getting up at night are treated when they become bothersome. Treatment may be medical or surgical. Surgery is done without incisions, with a scope. Medication may help mild symptoms and delay the need for surgery.
What men should know about prostate infections:
The symptoms may include
- burning on urination
- urgent urination
- frequent urination
- low back pain
- testicular pain or
- low abdominal pressure.
Treatment is a course of antibiotics. Occasionally, men will develop recurrent symptoms with a chronic infection. Chronic prostatitis may require a longer course of antibiotics and be more difficult to resolve.
For all of these conditions, one's family doctor can initiate treatment but may refer the patient to a urologist for further care or diagnostic tests.
When medication and other non-surgical treatments are either unavailable or cannot relieve symptoms, surgery is the accepted treatment for a broad range of conditions that affect the male reproductive organs and the organs of the urinary tract. These conditions include, but are not limited to, prostate cancer, ureteropelvic junction (UPJ) obstruction, bladder and kidney cancer and vesicoureteral reflux.
Facing any kind of urologic surgery creates a great deal of anxiety for most men. Among your concerns is: “Will my body function normally following surgery?” Traditional open urologic surgery — in which large incisions are made to access the pelvic organs — has been the standard approach when surgery is warranted. Yet common drawbacks of this procedure include significant post-surgical pain, a lengthy recovery and an unpredictable, potentially long-term impact on continence and sexual function.
Fortunately, less invasive surgical options are available to many patients facing urologic surgery. The most common of these is laparoscopy, which uses small incisions. While laparoscopy can be very effective for many routine procedures, limitations of this technology prevent its use for more complex urologic surgeries.
A new category of surgery, introduced with the development of the da Vinci® Surgical System, is being used by an increasing number of surgeons worldwide for prostatectomy and other urologic procedures. This minimally invasive approach, utilizing the latest in surgical and robotics technologies, is ideal for delicate urologic surgery. This includes prostatectomy, in which the target site is not only tightly confined but also surrounded by nerves affecting urinary control and sexual function. Using da Vinci, your surgeon has a better tool to spare surrounding nerves, which may enhance both your recovery experience and clinical outcomes.