very man between the ages of 50 and late 70s should have a prostate examination and PSA blood test performed annually," said Brett Mellinger, MD, Chairman, Department of Urology in Winthrop's Institute for Family Care.
Brett Mellinger, MD, Chairman, Department of Urology, explains a procedure to a patient.
Dr. Mellinger made his recommendation based on statistics indicating that prostate cancer is the number one cancer in men, and the number two cancer killer. However, when detected early, treatment can be highly successful.
Far more common than prostate cancer is benign prostate hyperplasia, or BPH. Resulting enlargement of the prostate gland can cause urinary symptoms such as decreased force of the urinary stream, inability to completely empty the bladder, increased frequency of urination, especially during the night, intermittent stopping and starting of the urinary stream, and even uncontrollable leakage of urine or incontinence.
"BPH is the most common benign tumor in men," stated Alfred D. Kohan, MD, Director, Winthrop Center for Bladder Health and Sexual Function. "It is easily evaluated and can be effectively managed with medication or minor invasive procedures. In most cases men with BPH can achieve significant symptom improvement without major surgery."
Alfred Kohan, MD, describes a biofeedback technique, which helps many patients overcome incontinence.
Winthrop offers the full range of treatment options for BPH, including the Indigo laser, an optic laser that travels through a catheter to the prostate gland. It uses heat to coagulate excess tissue, which is reabsorbed by the body over time. The laser is sophisticated enough to detect the difference between the prostate gland and nearby urethra. This enables urologists to shrink the prostate gland with a high degree of accuracy, preserving the lining of the urethra.
Another common complaint as both men and women age is incontinence. "Incontinence affects nearly 16 million Americans over the age of 65," said Dr. Kohan. "Fortunately, there are many ways to effectively diagnose and treat the problem, including non-surgical and minimally invasive surgical techniques that can help both men and women."
Once considered a taboo subject, erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common problem that many men are becoming more comfortable addressing. That is good news, according to Dr. Mellinger, an expert in dealing with ED.
"Since ED can be symptomatic of serious underlying medical conditions, including diabetes and vascular disorders, it is vitally important that men who experience this problem recognize that it is not necessarily a normal part of aging," noted Dr. Mellinger. "They need to see their physician for a thorough physical work-up."
Once the cause of ED is identified, there is a range of effective therapies to treat the problem.
For additional information on the Department of Urology in Winthrop's Institute for Family Care, call