FORT SMITH, Ark. – Sometimes it’s easy to put off going to the doctor, especially if your problem is something you may feel too embarrassed to talk about. But during National Men’s Health Month, Baptist Health urologists are encouraging men to face health issues that may be affecting their quality of life.
Urologist John D. Terrell, MD, will host a free virtual seminar to provide information on treatment for common men’s health issues including urinary incontinence, overactive bladder and erectile dysfunction. The event will take place at 6 p.m., June 30. Dr. Terrell is a board-certified urologist with years of experience treating men’s health issues. View this webinar in the comfort of your own home with complete privacy and get your questions answered.
To register for the class call Baptist Health HealthLine at 1-888-BAPTIST or visit the Health Classes section of our website at Baptist-Health.com.
Other issues that men may need to address include benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or enlarged prostate, and prostate cancer screening.
Symptoms of BPH include frequent or urgent need to urinate, increased urination at night, and inability to empty the bladder.
“As the prostate enlarges, the urine stream can become weaker,” said Dr. Kyle Basham of Baptist Health Urology Clinic-Fort Smith. “The bladder gets irritable and the patient feels the need to urinate more frequently and urgently.”
These symptoms can have a negative impact on a man’s daily life and keep him from doing the things he wants to do professionally and socially. However, there are a wide range of treatment options available for BPH ranging from oral medications to procedures depending on the shape and size of a man’s prostate.
According to Dr. Basham, several factors play into determining a treatment plan.
“First thing to consider is the patient’s goals,” he said. “Some are more concerned with getting off of medication, others with preservation of sexual function, and some just want to get rid of a catheter and will do whatever is needed.”
One of the treatment options available for BPH is Aquablation therapy. Aquablation uses the power of water delivered with robotic precision to provide symptom relief with low rates of irreversible complications, regardless of prostate size or shape. It significantly reduces the chances of sexual dysfunction and incontinence.
Urolift is another treatment option that is minimally invasive and can sometimes be performed in a physician’s office. Tiny implants are used to hold the enlarged prostate tissue out of the way and increase the opening of the urethra.
Dr. Basham says each patient is different, and he works with them to identify the proper treatment based on their situation.
Some symptoms of prostate cancer may mirror those of BPH, but also include pain or burning during urination, blood in the urine, or pain in the back, hips and pelvis that doesn’t go away.
For most men, routine prostate cancer screening begins at age 50. African-American men or any man with a family history of prostate cancer may discuss earlier screening with their health care provider.
“You should never ignore bothersome urinary symptoms until it is too late to do something about them,” Dr. Basham said. “But we often refer to prostate cancer as silent and screening is required to reach a diagnosis.”
There are two types of commonly used tests for prostate cancer screening: A Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test and a Digital Rectal Examination (DRE). Both can detect abnormalities and determine if further steps such as a biopsy should be done.
Incontinence, also known as bladder leakage, can be just as common in men as it is in women. For men, the most common cause of stress urinary incontinence is the surgical removal of the prostate gland to treat prostate cancer, or a prostatectomy. Men may also suffer from overactive bladder (OAB) as a result of damage to the nervous system or muscles related to diabetes, stroke or Parkinson’s disease. A urologist can determine whether medication or a procedure can control the symptoms.
“Ultimately, it’s important for men to recognize changes in their health and know they can turn to their primary care providers and specialists when they need help,” Dr. Basham said.
For 100 years, Baptist Health has delivered All Our Best in health care through Christian compassion and innovative services. Baptist Health is Arkansas’ most comprehensive health care organization with more than 250 points of access that include 11 hospitals; urgent care centers; a senior living community; over 100 primary and specialty care clinics; a college with studies in nursing and allied health; a graduate residency program; and access to virtual care anytime, anywhere. It is also the largest private not-for-profit health care organization based in Arkansas, providing care through the support of approximately 11,000 employees, groundbreaking treatments, renowned physicians and community outreach programs. For more information about Baptist Health, visit baptist-health.com, call Baptist Health HealthLine at 1-888-BAPTIST or download the myBaptistHealth app. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.