PROSTATE ISSUES: Every Man’s Destiny
A Large Prostate Does Not (Always) Equal Cancer!
A very common complaint among men as they age is a change in their urinary habit. These complaints stems from common Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS) caused from direct bladder outlet obstruction. This is often caused by a large prostate. Common complaints of a large prostate may include:
- Urgency to urinate
- Difficulty starting urination
- Weak urinary stream
- Dribbling at the end of urination
- Interruption of urinary flow.
If you are experiencing some of these urinary symptoms, your prostate is likely enlarged (or enlarging… it is an ongoing process), also known as Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH). While BPH is non-cancerous, your physician will take additional steps to rule out prostate cancer (Digital Rectal Exam (DRE), lab/blood sample for Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) changes, etc.,).
How Common Is BPH?
BPH (large prostate) is very, very common! The Urologic Disease in America BPH Project examined the prevalence of moderate-to-severe LUTS using the American Urological Association (AUA) Symptom Index (SI) of ≥7 (you may use questionnaire below to calculate your score).
- As many as 50% of men experience LUTS by age 60
- Studies estimated that 90% of men between 45 and 80 years of age suffer from some type of LUTS
- Treating LUTS is very important. If left untreated, it may lead to acute urinary retention (blockage that prevents urination), urinary tract infection, urinary stones, and in severe cases, kidney damage.
LUTS does not equal Prostate Cancer. Yes, it is true that some men with LUTS will develop (or have) prostate cancer, but LUTS is not necessarily a symptom purely due to cancer.
SCORE KEY: 0 to 7 = mild; 8 to 19 = moderate; 20 or more = severe
If you are experiencing LUTS and have a score ≥8, then discuss with your Primary Care Physician or Urologist and ask which treatment approach is best for you! Treatment options include:
- Watchful waiting (active surveillance)
- Medical therapies
- directed at relaxing the prostate muscles and bladder neck to increase urinary flow, or
- hormones blockade to decrease the size of the prostate)
- The minimally invasive treatments are Transurethral Needle Ablation (TUNA) of the prostate or
- Transurethral Microwave Thermotherapy (TUMT)
There are also many surgical options. Taking care of LUTS will likely improve your quality of life! It is VERY important to understand that the treatment options for LUTS is NOT the same as for PROSTATE CANCER. You can learn more about Prostate Cancer at our Courses HERE, as well as watch anatomic videos on the common causes and treatment for Erectile Dysfunction.
Additionally, it is also important to know that the PSA will generally increase as age increases. Therefore, a PSA of 3.5 at age 70 years, is not as worrisome as a PSA of 3.5 at age 48. There are other variables that can cause a PSA to falsely (not cancer related) be elevated. Keep following this blog, send in your questions and will monthly post a blog with your “Questions for Queen” Remember, it is your life and you must become your own advocate!
Life is beautiful and God is awesome. And know, you are pure awesomeness!
Until next time,
Ipsa Scientia Potestas est ——— Knowledge itself is power!
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Queen, Your Family Friendly Cancer Doc!