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What You Need To Know About Urology

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.

Surgical interventions may be used for the management of:

  • Cancers, such as prostate or bladder cancer
  • Stress incontinence
  • Stone removal
  • Congenital abnormalities
  • And others

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.

What You Need To Know About The Prostate and Prostate Cancer

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.

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

In its early stages, prostate cancer may not exhibit symptoms. In its more advanced stages, signs and symptoms may include:

  • Trouble urinating
  • Frequent urges to urinate at night
  • Weak or interrupted urine flow
  • Erectile dysfunction, particularly new onset
  • Straining to start and stop flow
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Blood in urine or semen

Risk Factors and Prevention

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:

Risk Factors:

  • Age – rare in younger men, more likely over age 55.
  • Ethnicity – African American men have a greater risk.
  • Obesity

What Can You Do to Live a Healthy Lifestyle

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Exercise
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Talk with your doctor about your risk

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.

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