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Expanded eligibility: Anyone age 12 and older can now schedule and receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Prostate Health

The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland that plays an important role in reproduction. It can also cause some problems. AHN urologists are prepared to diagnose and treat issues, including everything from cancer to an enlargement of the gland. Prostate cancer and benign prostate hyperplasia are common disorders treated at AHN.  

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer for men. And when it’s detected early, there’s a much better chance of successful treatment.

Cancer screenings help identify prostate cancer in the earliest stages possible. Early treatment can prevent spread of the disease. There is increased risk among men who are over the age of 50, African Americans, those with a family history of prostate or related cancers, and those with inherited gene mutations.

Prostate cancer can be detected through several methods, including:

  • History: The first step is a thorough conversation with your doctor about your medical history, family history, and current urologic complaints.
  • Physical exam: A digital rectal exam can detect irregularities or nodules that may be due to cancer.
  • PSA testing: Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by the prostate and detected in the blood stream. A high count could be due to prostate cancer, though other factors could be present, such as inflammation or an infection.
  • Further testing: If a PSA screening or digital rectal exam finds abnormalities, your doctor may recommend further testing, such a prostate biopsy or an MRI.
  • Prostate biopsy: A biopsy is most commonly performed in the office, though sedation can be given in an operating room, if necessary. The procedure typically takes 10-15 minutes. Samples are sent for testing, and results are discussed during a separate visit.

Prostate cancer treatment

You have access to a wide array of treatment options depending on what you and your doctor determine is best for your unique situation. Learn more about prostate cancer treatments

Caring for prostate cancer doesn’t end when your course of treatment is over. As  a prostate cancer survivor, you may experience bladder control or sexual health issues. Learn more about continuing care that gets you back to your usual self. 

Benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH)

BPH is a natural enlarging of the prostate, which is very common with age. About half of men in their 50s have an enlarged prostate, and up to 90% of men over age 80 have it. The prostate is typically the size of a walnut but can grow as large as an orange. This is a noncancerous condition, but it can result in difficulties with urination.

BPH symptoms may include:

  • Weak stream.
  • Having to strain or push to start your stream.
  • Dribbling after you’re done urinating.
  • Feeling like you’re not completely finished despite having just urinated.
  • Urinary urgency and frequency.
  • Waking up at night to urinate.

BPH may be diagnosed through a variety of examinations and tests, including:

  • History: Answering questions to assess urinary symptoms.
  • Physical exam: A physical exam, including a digital rectal exam (DRE), in which your prostate is checked for enlargement or signs of cancer.
  • Lab testing: Urinalysis is used to check for signs of protein, glucose, infection, and blood. A PSA blood test may be recommended to screen for cancer.
  • Post-void residual: This test measures liquid left in the bladder after urinating. This helps evaluate whether an enlarged prostate is causing bladder dysfunction.
  • Cystoscopy: A common procedure that involves inserting a camera into the urethra and the bladder to examine the anatomy of your prostate.

Treatment for BPH

Lifestyle modifications. Some foods may irritate the bladder and should be avoided. These include coffee, tea, alcohol, soda, cocoa products, and acidic foods. Also, scheduling regular times to urinate can help — rather than holding it for prolonged periods of time.

Observation with clinical monitoring. This is best for men who aren’t bothered by their symptoms and are able to empty their bladder well.

Medications

  • Alpha blockers: Relax the muscles of the prostate and a portion of the bladder. They don’t shrink the prostate, but they can improve urine flow.
  • Alpha reductase inhibitors: Shrink the prostate by blocking the male hormone (DTH) that plays a role in prostate growth.
  • Phosphodiesterase inhibitors: These can improve urine flow, and also treat erectile dysfunction. They’re often prescribed for men who have ED and urinary issues.

Surgery

Patients have access to surgical options for cases where medication is not effective or when they don’t want to take medication.

  • Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP): An electric current resects or vaporizes and removes prostate tissue that’s obstructing urine flow.
  • Photoselective vaporization (PVP): This eliminates obstructing prostate tissue with a high-power laser. 
  • Prostatic urethral lift (UroLift®): Small implants lift and hold back obstructing prostate tissue.

Your medical provider will discuss each option with you and determine which is best based on your symptoms and exam findings.  

Contact us

Call (412) DOCTORS (412) 362-8677  or, request an appointment to learn more about prostate health.