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Prostate

The prostate is a gland about the size of a walnut, located between the bladder and the penis, just in front of the rectum. The urethra runs through the center of the prostate, from the bladder to the penis, allowing urine to flow out of the body.

The prostate secretes fluid that nourishes and protects sperm. During ejaculation, the prostate pushes the fluid into the urethra. It then exits with sperm as semen.

 

Common Conditions

 

Prostatitis

This is when the prostate becomes inflamed, perhaps caused by infection. It can be treated with antibiotics in some cases. In many cases of chronic prostatitis, antibiotics are not effective, but other treatments are available.

Enlarged Prostate

Also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostate growth affects a large majority of men over 50 years old, with symptoms of difficult urination tending to increase with age. BPH can be treated with medicine or surgery. Sometimes surgery is the best option when medications are ineffective or poorly tolerated. There are minimally invasive procedures which are very well tolerated and may have lower side effects than surgeries in the past.

Prostate Cancer

Second to skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men. Despite its prevalence, only one in 35 men die from this disease. There are many effective treatments for prostate cancer. Treatments for cure include radiation, surgery, and cryotherapy. Some men with low risk disease are candidates for something called active surveillance. This is when a patient is followed closely with laboratory evaluations/exams with the intent to cure if/when necessary. If the disease has progressed to a stage which is not curable, often it can be controlled with hormone suppression therapy. When hormone suppression therapy is ineffective, there are additional treatments available. Click here for more information on prostate cancer.

Treatment Options

For more information on our treatment options for prostate conditions, click here.

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is treatable, and many treatment options exist. If you’re diagnosed with prostate cancer, things to consider before deciding on treatment are your age, general state of health, and severity of disease.

Talking to our physicians about your treatment options will help get you on the path to recovery.

 Stages Of Prostate Cancer

After diagnosing prostate cancer, our physicians determine if and where the cancer cells have spread. This will help them develop an informed opinion about the best treatment option.

Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer

During the early stages, most men will not notice any symptoms of prostate cancer. If the cancer grows and spreads outside of the prostate, some men may experience difficulty urinating, pain, and/or weight loss.

Please remember that some symptoms could also indicate other prostate conditions, such as enlarged prostate. Please make an appointment if you feel you are experiencing any of the above symptoms.

Risk Factors For Prostate Cancer

Below are some of the major risk factors for prostate cancer.

  • Age
    • Prostate cancer is uncommon in men younger than 40, but the risk significantly increases with age. In the U.S., the majority of all prostate cancers are found in men over the age of 65.
  • Race
    • African-American men have the highest risk, followed by Caucasian, Hispanic and Native American men.
  • Family history of prostate cancer
  • Obesity and high fat diet

While prostate cancer is not preventable, you can make healthy choices that will help decrease your risk:

  • Healthy diet
  • Exercise (30 minutes a day, five days a week)
  • Maintain a healthy weight

 

Treatment Options For Prostate Cancer

After being diagnosed with prostate cancer, our physicians will work with you to determine the proper treatment plan, which meets your individual needs. Before deciding the course of action for treatment, our physicians will look at several key factors:

  • Age and state of health
  • The stage of your cancer
  • Personal preference (often treatment results will be similar between different treatment options)

Surveillance

When a patient has low risk disease, is older, or not healthy enough for treatment, surveillance may be an option. This may be "active surveillance" where the intent is to treat the cancer for cure when low risk disease appears to advance to a point where treatment is necessary. "Watchful waiting" is generally used for patients that have less than a 10 year life expectancy. In this situation, the intent is to just control the disease and prevent complication of the cancer.

Radiation Therapy

There are two main methods to deliver radiation:

  • Externally – IMRT: uses high-energy x-ray beams to kill cancer cells
  • Internally – Brachytherapy: small radioactive implants are inserted into you prostate to kill cancer cells
  • Sometimes these treatment techniques are combined

 

Radical Prostatectomy

This procedure involves the removal of the prostate gland, lymph nodes and surrounding tissue. This procedure can be performed via different surgical approaches which include: open (radical retropubic prostatectomy, radical perineal prostatectomy), laparoscopic, or robotic assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy. Robotic-assisted prostate surgery offers many significant benefits over traditional or “open” surgery. Benefits include shorter hospital stay, less risk of blood loss and a faster recovery. Click here to learn more about this revolutionary technology that our physicians provide.

Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy freezes prostate tissue in order to destroy cancerous cells. Click here to learn more about cryotherapy.

Hormone Therapy

When prostate cancer is no longer curable or a patient cannot tolerate curative treatment, hormonal therapy may be chosen. Hormone therapy is used to prevent cancer cells from growing. The goal is to either stop your body from producing testosterone, which can stimulate cancer cell growth, or to block it from entering cancer cells.

Prostate Treatment Options

There are many advanced treatment options available to our physicians in order to treat conditions of the prostate. You and your physician will discuss in detail the option that’s right for you and your lifestyle.

 

Enlarged Prostate Treatment

 

Alpha-Blockers (Flomax, Uroxatral, Rapaflo)

These relax the muscles around the urethra in men. They allow urine to flow more freely.

5-Alpha-Reductase Inhibitors (Proscar, Avodart)

These medications improve urine flow by reducing the level of a certain form of testosterone, allowing the prostate to shrink when it is present.

Minimally Invasive Surgery

Some men require surgery to resolve symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Office procedures include transurethral needle ablation (radiofrequency ablation), and transurethral microwave thermotherapy. Click here to learn more about laparoscopic surgery.

Transurethral Resection Of The Prostate (TURP)

This procedure is performed by visualizing the prostate through the urethra and removing tissue with a heated loop.

Laser Vaporization

Laser surgery for an enlarged prostate can present some significant advantages over TURP. Click here to learn more about this alternative form of treatment.

Prostatitis Treatment

Depending on the type prostatitis, treatment options may range from antibiotics, medications and/or surgery.

Prostate Cancer Treatment

Click here to learn more about prostate cancer treatment.

Prostate Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is the prostate?

The prostate is a gland about the size of a walnut, located between the bladder and the urethra, just in front of the rectum. The urethra runs through the center of the prostate, from the bladder to the penis, allowing urine to flow out of the body.

The prostate secretes fluid that nourishes and protects sperm. During ejaculation, this fluid enters the urethra. It then exits with sperm as semen.

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer occurs when cancer cells have formed in the tissues of the prostate. The cancer typically grows slowly.

How common is prostate cancer?

More than 200,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year in the United States. More than two million men in the U.S. are currently living with prostate cancer. After age 50, the risk of developing the disease increases. Risk of prostate cancer is also increased if a first degree family member has prostate cancer.

What symptoms should cause me to seek medical advice for an enlarged prostate?

Some common signs of an enlarged prostate include difficulty urinating, a weak or inconsistent urine flow, having to wait before urinating, urgency or frequency or having to wake up at night to urinate.

What changes occur as the prostate ages?

As we age, the prostate tends to grow larger. This often causes worsening urinary symptoms. In addition, a prostate is more likely to develop cancer the older person gets.

In some rare cases, men in their 30s and 40s may begin to experience a few of these urinary symptoms and need medical help. Others may not experience any signs until they are older. Regardless, it’s imperative to ask questions and seek medical attention if you feel you are experiencing any symptoms.