The specialty of urology is concerned with the urinary tract of males and females including the kidneys, adrenal gland, urinary bladder, ureters, urethra and the male reproductive system, which can be managed medically or surgically.
Today, laparoscopic or minimally invasive techniques can be used including robot-assisted surgery performed at the Latrobe and Westmoreland campuses with the da Vinci system. Robot-assisted surgery allows for better results, less scarring, less blood loss and pain for patients, and is ideal for various forms of prostate surgery.
The prostate, a small, walnut-size gland, is part of the reproductive system, located near the bladder. As a man ages, particularly after age 50 or 55, it is not uncommon for prostate problems to arise. Some may experience BPH, more commonly known as an enlarged prostate, while others may develop prostatitis, an inflammation or infection of the prostate. About one in nine men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, one of the most common types of cancer in men, in their lifetimes.
Prostate cancer usually grows slowly and generally is confined to the prostate gland where it may not cause serious harm. In cases of slow growing cancers, minimal or even no treatment may be the course of action. There are other types of prostate cancers that are more aggressive, spreading more quickly. But early detection is key, especially when it is still confined to the prostate gland, signaling a better chance of successful treatment.
In its early stages, prostate cancer may not exhibit symptoms. In its more advanced stages, signs and symptoms may include:
There are some risk factors that cannot be controlled, however, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of prostate cancer and live a healthier life:
Generally, a doctor can perform a digital rectal examination to check the prostate or may order a prostate-specific antigen blood test, both to detect any cancer early. Talk with your doctor or healthcare provider about whether you should have this test.