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Prostate Exam

What is the purpose of a Prostate Exam?

During a Prostate Exam our physicians are able to determine any irregularity within your prostate gland. Irregularities might be an enlarged prostate a lesion on the prostate or a lump on the prostate. With early detection our physicians are able to treat, in most cases, successfully.

How is a Prostate Exam performed?

At Urology Consultants our physicians perform Digital Rectal Exams (DRE) which is also known as the prostate exam. Utilizing a gloved index finger our physician will access the prostate gland through the rectum. This technique allows the physician to feel the prostate for any irregularities. The exam takes approximately 2 minutes.

Who needs a Prostate Exam?

As recommended by the American Cancer Society Men 42 years of age or older with either a history or family history of prostate cancer are recommended to undergo a Prostate Exam annually. Men 50 years of age or older with no history are recommended to undergo a Prostate Exam once a year.

What type of symptoms would I have if I had prostate problems?

In addition to your age, symptoms that may be encountered would be;

  • not completely emptying your bladder
  • frequent urination
  • not being able to hold your urine
  • having to strain to urinate
  • a weak urine stream
  • awaken several times during the night with an urgency to
    urinate

At any age these are warning signs of a problem with your health and you should consult your physician right away!

What You Need to Know about Prostate Cancer Where and what is the prostate?

The prostate is a gland, the size and shape of a walnut located below the bladder, just in front of the rectum. Passing through the center of the prostate is the urethra. During ejaculation, muscles surrounding the prostate squeeze the seminal fluid into the urethra and out through the penis. The urethra also carries urine. When the prostate becomes enlarged, it squeezes the urethra and interrupts the flow and control of urine. Consequently, one of the symptoms of prostate cancer is urinary difficulties. Surgery, an effective treatment for the early stages of prostate cancer, can also cause urinary difficulties.

Alongside the prostate is a group of nerves that go to the penis and control erections. Surgery can damage these nerves, with impotence as the result. In recent years, a nerve sparing" technique has been practiced by surgeons to help patients maintain the ability to achieve an erection. Success depends on the size and location of the tumor. If
surgery is an option for you, the chance of becoming impotent may affect your decision to undergo surgery. Bear in mind, though, that both urinary difficulties and impotence are treatable.

What are its causes?

No one knows exactly what causes prostate cancer. Some researchers think environmental factors, such as high-fat diets, may be the culprit; some attribute prostate cancer to genetics. Regardless of the cause, the greatest risk factor for prostate cancer is age. The likelihood of developing prostate cancer starts to increase after the age of 40.

If the doctor finds abnormalities, what steps are taken?

Generally, when our physicians encounter abnormalities during a prostate exam, depending on the findings he may elect the patient to undergo all or one of the following: ultrasound of the prostate, Prostatic Specific Antigen (PSA) – a blood test to determine if cancer is present, drug therapy or surgery.

The Facts About Prostate Cancer Could you have prostate cancer?

If you are a man over 40 or someone in your family is, one of the most important things you can do for yourself or recommend to that family member is to get tested for prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men and the second leading cause of cancer deaths. For 1996 the projected number of new cases of prostate cancer is 317,100. This number is expected to rise in coming years with more widespread and routine use of PSA tests for screening. Who is at risk? Almost all men will get prostate cancer if they live long enough. The risk of developing prostate cancer increases as men get older. Eighty percent of prostate cancer cases are diagnosed in men who are over the age of 65. However some men develop it when they are younger. For unknown reasons, African Americans have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer than white Americans. Asian immigrants are among those men with the lowest risk. Get tested: Early detection pays off Prostate cancer is usually very slow growing. Symptoms may not appear for many years. Many men will die without ever knowing they had prostate cancer. Others will find out they have early, middle, or late stage prostate cancer. Because prostate cancer is so prevalent and symptoms may not exist, it is extremely important that you and male family members over 40 get tested for the disease. The goal of each treatment is to extend life and allow life to be lived as it always has – remaining active, spending time with family and being part of the community. But the definition of successful treatment changes as the disease advances. Successfully treating early-stage prostate cancer often means curing it. Successfully treating advanced prostate cancer means delaying its symptoms (sometimes for many years). Awareness is the first step to successful treatment. This booklet provides an introduction to prostate cancer and its treatment options. It is meant to make you aware that all males are at risk; that prostate cancer is a disease you can battle and win; that patients can lead an active life while undergoing treatment; and that testing is crucial, because you need to know you have the disease before you can get treated.

What is prostate cancer?

In any body tissue, cells normally reproduce themselves in an orderly and controlled manner; worn out tissue is routinely replaced. Cells growing out of control form a growth, which is called a tumor. Some tumors grow, but always stay at the same site without invading adjacent tissues, and these are called benign tumors. Other tumors not only grow but also have the potential to invade and destroy surrounding tissue, as well as to spread to distant parts of the body. These are called malignant tumors, or cancer. Cancer cells can detach from malignant tumors and travel to other parts of the body and begin to grow. Tumors that develop in another organ or structure as a result
of spreading in this manner are called metastases.