Although there is no cure for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as enlarged prostate, there are many useful options for treating the problem. Treatments focus on prostate growth, which is the cause of BPH symptoms. Once prostate growth starts, it often continues unless medical therapy is started. The prostate grows in two different ways. In one type of growth, cells multiply around the urethra and squeeze it, much like you squeeze a straw. The second type of growth is middle-lobe prostate growth in which cells grow into the urethra and the bladder outlet area. This type of prostate growth typically requires surgery. The first line of care for treating BPH is often medication. Doctors may prescribe an alpha blocker to relax the prostate, a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor to reduce the prostate’s size, or both. While medications are helpful for many patients, some may impact a man’s sexual function or only reduce, not eliminate symptoms if the patient has a moderate to severe case of BPH. In cases where patients have moderate to severe BPH or have a middle-lobe growth and need further treatment, there are a range of BPH-related surgical procedures, including ones that are less invasive than older surgeries. A patient and his doctor will choose the best option based on the size and shape of the prostate, as well as the patient’s preference and overall medical condition. Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) was considered the gold standard surgical treatment for many years. It involved “shaving” the enlarged prostate tissues with an electric current delivered through a wire loop. While this technique worked well, its’ side effects could include bleeding, urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Today, two newer procedures are performed in the urologist’s office. For patients with mild to moderate BPH with no middle lobe, there is a stapling procedure known as UroLift where the physician places the patient under local anesthesia or conscious sedation and lifts and staples the prostate to open up the urethra. Because it pulls the prostate out of the way, this approach offers rapid relief, but it cannot be done if […]
This month, we’d like to share the following article, courtesy of the Urology Care Foundation. April is Testicular Cancer Awareness month. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), testicular cancer is relatively rare . Roughly 1 out of every 250 men will develop the disease in their lifetime. However, the incidence rate of testicular cancer has been on the rise over the past several decades, and an estimated 9,310 men will be diagnosed in the United States this year. Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Doctor One of the most important things you can do after being diagnosed is to have an ongoing, open dialogue with your doctor to make sure you stay informed and active about your care. Here is a list of questions to bring to your appointment. Tip: bring a notebook to write down their answers, or plan to record them on your phone. 1. What coping mechanisms do you recommend? A cancer diagnosis significantly impacts not only your physical health, but your mental and emotional well-being. Feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear are very common and considered normal reactions. Your health care team is an indispensable resource for helping you find the support you need to cope. And patients with more social support usually feel less anxious and depressed and report having a better quality of life. 2. What type of testicular cancer do I have and what stage is my tumor? The better informed you are about your specific diagnosis, the better you’ll be able to make decisions on your own behalf. There are two main types of testicular cancer , known as seminomas and non-seminomas. Knowing how advanced the cancer is, or what stage it’s in, will also determine your treatment options. 3. What treatment plan is right for me? The type of treatment your doctor will recommend will depend on your specific diagnosis and type of testicular cancer. Generally speaking, treatment options for testicular cancer include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. 4. What lifestyle changes should I make? The Testicular Cancer Foundation (TCF) urges all men to be advocates for their own health. This […]
At the Urology Group of Princeton, we continually stay abreast of new developments, and potential treatments, in the field of Urology. For your information, we are sharing an interesting development on the forefront of kidney stone treatment. Kidney stones generally leave the body without a doctor’s intervention; however, it can be a slow, painful process. MIT researchers have identified a potential new approach they hope will help patients pass kidney stones faster and with less pain. In a lab dish, cells from human ureters (the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder) were exposed to 18 different drugs and, in so doing, it was found that two were most effective in relaxing the cells: nifedipine, currently used to treat high blood pressure, and a rho kinase inhibitor, used in the treatment of glaucoma. In tests on pigs, injecting these two medications together nearly eliminated painful ureteral contractions. Subsequent tests found no traces of the drugs in the bloodstream; implying that this medication remains in the ureter, reducing the risk of systemic side effects. The researchers hope to eventually test the treatment in humans to determine the optimal doses needed to help stones pass faster. For tips on avoiding kidney stones, check out our blog post “Tips for the Prevention of Kidney Stones”. If you have questions or concerns about your kidneys or kidney stone treatments, call the Urology Group of Princeton at 609.924.6487 or schedule an appointment online. The board certified physicians/surgeons at the Urology Group are experts trained to evaluate your symptoms, perform applicable tests, and develop the proper treatment plan.