Medical Minute 10-18: Don't Wait on Your Prostate

By: Vanessa Welch Email
By: Vanessa Welch Email

Elliot Weser walks around this track whenever he can.

"I certainly try to stay fit, through walking and being physically active," said Weser.

But recently, something slowed him down. An enlarged prostate caused constant urination problems. He went to the doctor for help and admits cancer crossed his mind.

"Of course you wanna be sure there's no reason to fear that you have a cancer of the prostate."

Doctor Ian Thompson says confusing symptoms of an enlarged prostate with signs of prostate cancer is a mistake a lot of men make.

"Now we know, that they're generally unrelated."

That's right! Doctor Thompson conducted a historic decade long study of almost 19-thousand men and found no correlation between symptoms of an enlarged prostate and prostate cancer.Thompson tells us the findings go against several national cancer groups who urge men with urination troubles to get checked for prostate cancer. Now here's what the doctor says guys really need to know!

"Don't wait for urinary symptoms."

Thompson urges most men to talk with their doctor about prostate cancer around age 50. If it's in your family or you're African American that conversation should start ten years earlier. Bottom line: be proactive about your prostate before it's too late.

"The vast majority of prostate cancers have no symptoms until they spread. Until the cancer has spread," said Dr. Ian Thompson /Cancer Director CTRC University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio.

For more information on other series produced by Ivanhoe Broadcast News contact John Cherry at (407) 691-1500, jcherry@ivanhoe.com.

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THE PROSTATE: The prostate is a gland about the size of a walnut between the bladder and the penis. The urethra runs through the prostate to the penis to allow urine to flow out of the body. The prostate secretes fluid that is used to protect sperm. During ejaculation, the prostate squeezes this fluid into the urethra and is combined with sperm as semen. (SOURCE: www.webmd.com)

WHAT IS AN ENLARGED PROSTATE? An enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a common occurrence in men as they get older. Benign means that the enlargement is not caused by cancer, infection or any other unnatural factors. As many as 50 percent of men will experience symptoms of enlarged prostate by age 60 and 90 percent by age 85. Doctors are not sure why enlargement of the prostate occurs, but one theory is that it occurs due to the production of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which aides in the initial stages of prostatic growth. As men get older, DHT may continue to cause the prostate to grow after it has reached full size. (SOURCE: www.nafc.org)

FACTS ABOUT PROSTATE CANCER: Prostate cancer is the third most common cause of death in men of all ages from cancer. It is also the most common cause of death of men from cancer over the age of 75. Below are factors that put men at higher risk of prostate cancer:

• Men over the age of 60
• African-American men are most prone to prostate cancer
• Men with a family history of prostate cancer
• Men who abuse alcohol
• Farmers
• Men who eat a diet high in fat, especially animal fat
(SOURCE: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)

PROSTATE CANCER PREVENTION: Knowing the risk factors for prostate cancer and getting tested are the best ways to help prevent prostate cancer. Eating fewer calories, watching fat intake and maintaining a healthy weight will also help in prostate cancer prevention. There are also other actions that can be taken such as not smoking, maintaining stress levels and eating broccoli, which all can help in the prevention of prostate cancer. (SOURCE: www.pcf.org)

For More Information, Contact:

Elizabeth Allen
Media Relations
allenea@uthscsa.edu


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