Urology Blog

How is Your Prostate Cancer Awareness?

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and we’re getting a head start. It is important that men and those who love them understand the details of this common disease. Here, we discuss a few. May it increase your knowledge about prostate cancer and also prompt you to consider whether now is a good time to speak with your healthcare provider about your risks and how you might protect yourself.

One in Nine Men is Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer
The National Cancer Society updates statistics every year, including the number of men who get diagnosed with prostate cancer and how many men they estimate will get diagnosed in the coming year. This year, the estimate is that just over 191, 000 American men will learn that they have prostate cancer. Nearly all prostate cancer begins in the cells that produce prostatic fluid and results in a mass formed from uncontrollable cell growth.

Prostate Cancer Affects Older Men

The majority of patients diagnosed with prostate cancer (66%) are aged 65 or older. The average age at diagnosis is 66. Statistics also indicate that there are 60% more new cases of prostate cancer in black men each year than in white men. Rarely does this disease occur in men under the age of 40. Age is only one risk factor that needs to be known. Men should also know their family history of prostate cancer and other factors that could put them at risk.

Prostate Cancer Survival

One needn’t do much research to discover that prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among American men, falling only behind skin cancer. This can be a concerning statistic.

However, we must also see that 90% of prostate cancer cases are localized or regional, meaning that cancer cells have not spread to other parts of the body. Men diagnosed with local or regional prostate cancer have a 5-year survival rate of nearly 100%. The 10-year survival rate for prostate cancer is 98%.

What You Can Do about Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer risks need to be known, so talk with family and a healthcare provider to gain a better understanding of what is within your control to manage, such as:

• Avoiding smoking as well as secondhand smoke. This significantly affects prognosis if diagnosed with prostate cancer.
• Know the warning signs of prostate cancer. These include erectile dysfunction, frequent nighttime urination, and blood in the urine.
• Get screened. Not all men need a PSA screening each year to measure prostate-specific antigen, but those with risk factors may. Talk with your doctor about when you should begin this test.

We can help you understand more about the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. Call (423) 778-5910 to schedule an appointment with us.

Men, Do You Know When You Need a Urologist?

To maintain our health and vitality, most of us regularly see our primary care doctor, our dentist, and our eye doctor. Because we’ve been taught to follow this general model of healthcare, confusion may arise should unusual symptoms occur. If symptoms are sexual or urinary in nature, they require the care of a urologist. Most men never think to see a urologist until it is recommended by their primary health physician. This doesn’t usually happen until sometime after age 50. However, there may be a need for urologic care before then. Here are some of the indications to be aware of.

  • Erectile dysfunction. The conversation about erectile dysfunction has become common in recent years. This problem, which may affect up to 50% of adult males, is no longer something that gets brushed under the rug. We talk about it. Most men know that there are ways to treat this condition. However, because supplements and medications are available, some men may overlook the need to have erectile dysfunction evaluated by a urologist. This specialist can perform necessary tests to evaluate the physiology of the male reproductive system and potential hormonal or systemic involvement in the inability to keep or maintain an erection.
  • Kidney stones. Although men are more likely to develop kidney stones than women, this is not common knowledge, nor is what to do about this condition. The signs of kidney stones include abdominal, side, or back pain, nausea, vomiting, odd-smelling urine, and blood in the urine. A urologist can diagnose kidney stones based on symptoms but typically orders an ultrasound or other imaging to confirm stones, their type, and their measurements. In some cases, kidney stones can pass. Sometimes they need to be broken down into small pieces for this to happen.
  • Testicular pain. There are several reasons why a man may experience testicular pain. In adolescent males, sudden testicular pain may indicate testicular torsion, an event that requires emergency care. Adult males may experience testicular pain due to kidney stones, trauma to the testicle, infection, cysts, or other factors. A urologist can identify the cause of pain and administer appropriate treatment. Dr. Shridharani is one of few microsurgeons in the country who performs denervation surgery as a treatment for testicular pain.

In addition to these problems, men should see a urologist if they have tested high for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) or demonstrate the signs of an enlarged prostate, such as a weak urine stream or difficulty urinating.

UT Urology serves Chattanooga and surrounding areas with friendly, professional care. To schedule a visit, call (423) 778-5910.

Minor Annoyance or Major Warning Sign?

MEN'S HEALTH Chattanooga TNIt is no secret that men are notorious for avoiding the doctor until they absolutely must receive medical care. The notion that subtle symptoms are merely a minor annoyance could be very, very wrong. It is our intent to help men in the Chattanooga area make sense of urologic symptoms; to understand their origin and, most importantly, find an appropriate way to correct the problem.

Here, we want to discuss signs that you or a man you love needs to see a urologist.

  1. Erectile Dysfunction. Historically, the topic of erectile dysfunction has been one that men have avoided. Only recently has it become recognized as a widespread problem. A urologic examination seeks to understand erectile dysfunction in the wider context of general health. Is the obvious problem linked to another, such as hypertension? Understanding the nature of erectile dysfunction, a urologist can then discuss appropriate treatment.
  2. Frequent urination. There are several reasons why a man may need to urinate frequently. Whether this occurs primarily at night or becomes disruptive of daytime activities, frequent urination is a problem to explore with a urologist. The underlying issue could be an enlarged prostate, infection, or urinary incontinence. With proper treatment, the problem can become much more manageable.
  3. Difficulty urinating. Sometimes, urinary difficulty goes hand in hand with a frequent need to urinate. This could relate to an enlarged prostate and the inability to adequately release urine.
  4. Blood in the urine. If urine is pink-tinged or red, a urologic exam should be scheduled right away. This holds true even if evidence of blood comes and goes. Thorough testing is necessary to determine the cause of blood in the urine, which might be infection or kidney or bladder cancer.
  5. When a couple has difficulty conceiving, it is important for both partners to undergo a thorough health examination revolving around fertility. Studies suggest that 25% of infertility cases relate directly to a male reproductive issue.

Our medical needs change as we go through life. At some point, men will be best served by the inclusion of a urologist in their general healthcare team. To schedule a visit at UT Urology, call (423) 778-5910.

When Libido Takes a Hit

Low Testosterone Chattanooga, TNLibido, or sex drive, is an important aspect of health and wellness for both men and women. It is also one of the personal characteristics that we may question the most. Do we want sex often enough? Is our level of sexual desire normal? The problem with sex, in general, is that it can be a touchy subject. That being said, we’re going to dive right in.

Libido’s Natural Decline

One of the reasons that we may find ourselves questioning our personal preferences for frequency of sex is that our biology is constantly changing. These changes dictate how often we may feel “in the mood.” For women, biological shifts occur more frequently than for men. Each menstrual cycle, every pregnancy, and the years of perimenopause all bring with them a roller-coaster of hormones. As a result, a woman may experience numerous ups and downs throughout her life. This is not indicative of a sexual issue; it is the natural biological process.

Hormones also affect a man’s sex drive as he ages, though perhaps not in the same manner as the average woman. As a man’s testosterone levels fall, issues such as erectile dysfunction may arise. Along with it, this particular problem often generates its unique form of stress. The question of whether or not sexual intercourse will be “successful” may lead a man to avoid sex, further exacerbating the natural diminishment of libido.

What to do: Both men and women have the ability to better understand and manage sexual health at every age by consulting with their physician. Today, the availability of bioidentical hormones has increased interest in such treatment for ailing libido. Because conditions such as erectile dysfunction may also coincide with other health concerns, men are encouraged to obtain a full checkup that includes a prostate exam and hormone testing as they age.

There are several reasons why libido may rise and fall as we age. Our priority in providing patient care is to help patients assess the potential causes of low libidos, such as hormone imbalance, so appropriate treatment, if necessary, may be developed.

For more information on the services available in our Chattanooga urology practice, call (423) 778-8765.

That Dad Bod Could be a Threat to Longevity

MEN'S HEALTH Chattanooga, TNIn recent years, we have seen a push toward acceptance of a wider range of body types. There is no place in life for body-shaming, we can all agree on that. No man or woman should be held to an unattainable standard of fitness for the sole purpose of physical attractiveness. We have come so far in our desire to accept that we have witnessed the emergence of terms like “dad bod.” The softer tone of the male body was, for a time, almost revered. It seems this trend is on its way out, though, and this could be a really good thing.

New research findings suggest that a dad bod may not only be slightly unsexy, but that pleasantly plump could also mean surprisingly at risk for health conditions later in life. Data from a Harvard study indicates that weight gain in early and mid-adulthood has a direct effect on longevity. To put it bluntly, weight gain in our twenties, thirties, and forties means a shorter life. Not only a shorter life but one that is more likely to involve chronic health problems, too.

The Harvard study involved data collection from two previous studies, the Nurse’s Health Study (1976-2012) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986-2012). Reported weight for each of the 92,837 participants was collected and analyzed over a period of decades. The first weight measurement was taken at age 18 or 21, females and males, respectively. The final measurement was collected at age 55.

Researchers found that weight gain correlated with an increased risk for particularly concerning health conditions, including:

  • Type II diabetes (30%)
  • Hypertension (14%)
  • Cardiovascular disease (8%)
  • Premature death, non-smokers (5%)

In addition to an increased risk for health conditions, every 11 pounds that were gained decreased the odds of healthy aging by 17%.

Men who have been diagnosed with enlarged prostate, prostatitis, or prostate cancer, or who struggle with erectile dysfunction, are also encouraged to spend more time focused on eating well and exercising. Healthy weight facilitates a healthy life now, as well as years down the road.

Do you need more information on men’s health, erectile dysfunction, or prostate conditions? We’re here to serve you. Call UT Urology in Chattanooga at (423) 778-8765.

Need Some Sleep? Let’s Talk to Your Bladder!

Overactive Bladder Chattanooga TNInsomnia and poor sleep are prevalent among adults of all ages. Sometimes the issue is stress. Sometimes it may be a noisy neighbor. What shouldn’t be keeping you up at night is your bladder. If you are one of the millions of Americans (1 in 3) over thirty who is woken up two or more times each night by your bladder, you need to know there’s hope. At the heart of your sleepless nights may be the condition we call nocturia. Through thoughtful care, we may be able to resolve the issue – and your sleep.

What is Nocturia?

We all may be disturbed by the occasional need to urinate sometime during the night when we should be sleeping restfully. When nighttime urination occurs more often than not, though, and when it becomes difficult to sleep 6 or more hours without waking, it’s time to take note. Usually, nocturia is perceived as an “older adult” problem, but statistics demonstrate that a person of any age may struggle to keep their bladder calm at night.

There are a number of reasons why a man or woman may develop nocturia, including hormonal imbalance, medication, and health conditions such as enlarged prostate in men, diabetes, or high blood pressure. Consultation regarding this problem involves careful analysis of lifestyle and physical health. Uncovering the source of nighttime urination gives you a great deal of power in getting back to sleep.

Lifestyle tips for Nocturia Management

If you’re struggling to stay asleep for a full night of rest, try making a few changes to your day, such as:

  • Drink the majority of fluids during the morning and early afternoon hours. Be careful not to dehydrate yourself, but sip less frequently throughout the evening before bed.
  • Take naps! Sleep is necessary for fluid to absorb into the bloodstream, and research has shown that a short, 20- to 30-minute nap can be sufficient to achieve this.
  • Encourage fluid absorption by elevating the legs, or by wearing compression socks, especially during the afternoon.

How your Doctor can Help

Nocturia may improve somewhat with lifestyle changes, but clinical therapy may also be necessary to achieve the desired outcome. Medical therapies for nocturia often revolve around treating the overactive bladder with medication. Relaxing the bladder with appropriate medication, such as Mybetriq or an anticholinergic drug, may noticeably reduce the number of times you are woken by the need to urinate.

Learn more about nocturia and how to treat it. Schedule your consultation in our Chattanooga office at (423) 778-8765.

This Holiday Season, we are Glad for Dad

men;s healthThere is something about the holiday season that brings us to a state of reflection that just doesn’t happen at other times of the year. We become more aware of all we have to be thankful for. In that spirit, we want to give a shout out to all dads, and remind you of just what a difference you can make in your children’s lives.

Historically, research placed greater focus on the role that Mom plays in the development of her children. Today, we know that dads are good for much more than piggybacks – and piggy banks. We know that they play an integral role in their children’s social, psychological, and physical development. This is just as true of fathers who are not very involved in their children’s lives as it is of those who are involved on a daily basis. Obviously, research points to the benefits of active involvement between fathers and their children. This leads to greater health and happiness for both.

Specific effects of actively involved fathers

  • Babies of very involved fathers score better on developmental tests for motor and mental skills.
  • The mundane matters! Think that changing your baby’s diaper or feeding her doesn’t matter much? It does! Studies show that fathers involved at this level create babies who handle stress better.
  • There is a positive correlation between active fathering and children having higher self-esteem and more friends.
  • In one study by the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse as Columbia University, it was suggested that active involvement on dad’s part decreases the chance that a child will smoke or drink, or act out violently.
  • Dad’s mental health is important. Depression during the toddler years can later show up in the older child as low cooperation and poor self-control. An interesting finding: Fatherly depression is more detrimental to a child than if Mom is depressed.

Clearly, Dad lives matter. Regardless of how comics and movies continue to present fathers in a somewhat negative light (even for a few laughs, this is disrespectful), we want the fathers who read this to recognize the immense value they  have in the lives of their children. Knowing this value, also realize that it is important to take care of your physical health and wellness for the long haul.

We wish our patients a healthy and cheery holiday season. For healthcare designed around your unique needs, call (423) 778-8765.


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