Tag Archive | "prostate enlargement"

Alternative Procedure is Available for Treating Enlarged Prostate

According to Dr. Joao Martins Pisco, lead author of a study presented on March 29, 2011 at the annual meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology in Chicago, a new treatment called prostatic artery embolization (PAE) may be used in certain patients with prostates larger than 60 cubic centimeters and who have serious lower urinary tract symptoms and weakened urinary stream.

Enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostate hyperplasia, is a non-cancerous condition that affects millions of aging men.  This condition occurs when the prostate gland slowly enlarges and presses on the uretha, which constricts the flow of urine.  It is characterized by unpleasant symptoms including a weak or slow urine flow, a constant and urgent need to urinate, not being able to fully empty the bladder, and having to get up repeatedly at night to urinate.

The surgery that has generally been used to treat enlarged prostate, transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), is used for men whose prostates are smaller than 60 to 80 cubic centimeters.  The procedure requires general anesthesia and a hospital stay.

In contrast, there is no size limitation for PAE, which requires only local anesthesia.  Researchers say that the procedure lowers the risk of other side effects including blood loss and retrograde ejaculation, which happens when semen leaks into the bladder.  PAE can also be an outpatient procedure.

According to the study, PAE helped the majority of 67 patients who received the treatment.  Sixty-six of the men who had not responded to medications experienced improvements in symptoms and a reduction in prostate volume.  After nine months, none of these men experienced sexual dysfunction, and a quarter continued to report improvements.

PAE, however, remains controversial and few doctors are trained in this procedure.  Authors of the study reported that there was not a great an improvement in improved flow rate of urine in patients who underwent PAE, which would indicate the performance of the bladder and urethra, as those who underwent TURP.


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FDA Calls for Warning Labels on Drugs for Enlarged Prostate

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is calling for new warning labels on part of a class of medications used to primarily treat enlarged prostate called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors (5-ARI).  This new warning is based on the results of two large prostate cancer trials where it shows that the medications may raise the risk of developing an aggressive form of prostate cancer. The drugs involved include popular medications sold under brand names Proscar and Propecia (sold by Merck & Co.) and Avodart and Jalyn (sold by GlaxoSmithKline).

Propecia, a lower dose version of Proscar and is prescribed to treat hair loss in men is updating its label even though it was not included in the trials. FDA said “the applicability of the Avodart and Proscar studies to Propecia is currently unknown.”

FDA is advising doctors not to start patients on these drugs until prostate cancer and other urological conditions have been ruled out.  Prostate cancer can mimic the symptoms of an enlarged prostate.

Recent research has also shown that Proscar, Propecia and Avodart are all associated with increased risk of erectile dysfunction in men who take the medications.

According to FDA, between 2002 and 2009 almost 5 million men were prescribed one of these medications and of these nearly 3 million men were between the ages of 50 and 79.

“What both studies show conclusively is there is about 1% increase in being diagnosed with high-grade prostate cancer if you got these drugs even though you are less likely to get a low-grade cancer.  You have to weigh the 24% reduction against the 1% increased incidence of high-grade disease.” says Dr. Anthony D’Amico, chief of genitourinary radiation oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.  He added, “These drugs should only be used in men who have an additional indication to take them beyond prostate cancer prevention.”

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Dutasteride and Finasteride May Contribute to Irreversible Sexual Dysfunction in Men

Dutasteride (Avodart), a drug frequently prescribed to treat enlarged prostate and Finasteride (Proscar and Propecia); a drug frequently prescribed to treat hair loss may contribute to erectile dysfunction, depression and loss of libido.  Symptoms may even persist after the medication stopped.

This is according to a study led by Abdulmaged M. Traish, a professor of biochemistry and urology at Boston University School of Medicine.  The team searched for available medical literature for reports of sexual side effects associated with Finasteride and Dutasteride. Of the men taking the drugs, 8% reported erectile dysfunction and 4.2% reported reduced libido while those taking the placebo only 4% of men reported erectile dysfunction and 1.8% of men reported reduced libido. The researchers also noted that reduced ejaculation, reduced semen volume and depression were also reported by some men.

The drugs (Dutasteride and Finasteride) work by blocking androgen but androgen is needed for erectile function, libido and ejaculation, and for just feeling good.

Traish said “as a physician you have a responsibility to take the time and explain to your patient that maybe not everyone will have these side effects, but you may, and in some cases they are irreversible””.

Dr. Bruce R. Kava, an associate professor of urology at the University Of Miami Miller School Of Medicine agreed that “these drugs do cause some of these problems but they haven’t convinced me yet, based on the data, because they don’t have any long term data”.  He added that most urologists discuss potential side effects with their patients but usually “don’t discuss long term consequences that are irreversible, because most of us have not been aware of any long term problems from these drugs”.

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Trend Toward Minimally Invasive Technology for BPH

As medical treatment advances and more patients have access to health care, each generation in the United States is living longer, fuller lives.  However, awareness has been raised that as many men age an increase in problems such as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or enlarged prostate, is significant.  As a result, medical technological companies such as Urologix are constantly conducting new studies in order to better treat BPH.  One such study has produced Urologix’s Cooled ThermoCath Microwave Catheter, which is now being used in urology centers across the country.

The Cooled ThermoCath (CTC) Microwave Catheter is a minimally invasive catheter used with Urologix CoolWave or Targis units and is delivered in under 30 minutes by a physician.  The success rate of the therapy is 90% as many patients experience an alleviation of the symptoms associated with urinary flow rate and frequent trips to the bathroom.  Further, one of the most advantageous aspects of the minimally invasive procedure is that patients avoid the adverse effects associated with prior treatments and harsh medications.

According to Alan Partin, MD, PhD, Chairman of the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute at The Johns Hopkins Medication Institution and investigator of the study, “Our support of this long term clinical trial is representative of our Company’s commitment to science to better understand the benefits of the CTC Microwave Catheter for those affected by enlarged prostate disease.  We believe these long term clinical results will aid physicians and patients in their decision making when weighing treatment options.  This study demonstrates the effectiveness of the CTC Microwave Catheter in offering durable relief from symptoms of BPH for the majority of patients in a 30-minute treatment in a physician’s office.” Overall, the CTC has established itself today as a durable and effective treatment that provides lasting relief from the symptoms of BPH.

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Zap Your Enlarged Prostate

A team of scientists and engineers have constructed a device called the Plasma Button that could “vaporize your enlarged prostate.”  The device is a tiny plasma gun that sits at the end of a probe where it produces bursts of energy.  Currently, the gun is being used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH.  BPH is a common prostate condition in older men that results in an enlarged prostate.

Until now, most men with BPH are prescribed drugs or treated with invasive, uncomfortable surgeries.  These treatments are not always effective, and some surgeries can cause pain and bleeding.  In contrast, the Plasma Button zaps away excess prostate tissue without causing any bleeding.

The Plasma Button works by using electricity to produce a plasma field, which is an intense burst of energy emanating from the button-shaped device.  The energy heats the surrounding tissue until it is vaporized, or turned into steam.

The unique shape of the device gives surgeons greater control when it comes to sculpting the remaining tissue so it is left smooth and unlikely to cause any further blockages.  The procedure is quick, may be completed in just a few minutes, and provides instant relief.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia is such a prevalent condition in men that researchers are constantly looking for new treatments.  The Plasma Button may lead the way for a new generation of treatments.

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Enlarged Prostate home remedies

For patients with less serious symptoms, these home remedies might help:

  1. Take as little fluid as possible after dinnertime or 6:00 p.m and limit the consumption of caffeine-containing liquids (tea, coffee, colas). If you can avoid it, don’t drink them or alcoholic beverages after dinner.
  2. As soon as you feel the first-time night urge, get up and urinate as immediately. Stand there for at least one minute and try to urinate again. Repeat this one more time if you get a good amount out.
  3. Try to relax and free your mind of worries.
  4. Eat healthy – reduce the fat content of your diet.
  5. Get some physical exercise.  Have intercourse frequently. Ejaculation will remove prostatic fluid and shrink the prostate.
  6. Avoid antihistamines and other over-the-counter decongestants and cold remedies.
  7. Avoid cold weather if possible.
  8. Soak in a warm bath or hot tub for 20 minutes two or three times per day. The heat of the water will penetrate the prostate to reduce swelling and promote healing.
  9. Avoid prolonged sitting. A man sits on his prostate. If the onset of symptoms coincides with physical activity (biking, exercise), increased sitting (includes car and plane), or a new chair, your routine should be changed.
  10. There is some debate regarding whether zinc is of benefit to the prostate. Zinc in quantities of 30-60 mg daily can be tried if you are interested. These preparations can be obtained at various health food stores.
  11. A medicine from the berry of a saw palmetto tree has been used in Europe as an herbal treatment for enlarged prostates. There are some scientific studies that document an improvement, and many men state that they have had marked reduction in their urinary symptoms. Although saw palmetto hasn’t been shown to affect PSA levels, it is important if you elect to take this medicine that you make your physician aware at the time of any PSA blood test being performed.

Source:  Male Health Center

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Home Remedies for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Prostate enlargement, or benign prostatic hyperplasia, is considered to be one of the most common forms of prostate problems for men over the age of 50.  As many men age, their prostate continues to grow, yet the layer of tissue surrounding it prevents the gland from expanding.  This is what causes the gland to press against the urethra, the bladder wall to become irritable, and the bladder to contract when only small amounts of urine are stored.  As the condition progresses, the bladder weakens and can no longer empty itself completely, and urine remains in the bladder.

The most common symptoms of BPH are weak, slow urine stream, straining to urinate, dribbling after urination, and incomplete emptying of the bladder.  In addition, many patients experience an urgent, frequent need to urinate, increased nighttime waking to urinate, and occasional incontinence.

A variety of treatments exist for benign prostatic hyperplasia including medications and surgeries for more serious symptoms of the condition.  But home remedies for a more natural treatment program also exist.  One of these natural treatments is the hydrotherapy Sitz bath.  A Sitz bath helps relax the smooth muscle in the prostate, which eases the pressure on the urethra and bladder.  It also increases blood circulation to the pelvic region.

The Sitz bath is free, takes 20 minutes, and is claimed to produce results within a few days of treatment.  You will need two plastic basins called Sitz baths that fit into the bowl of your toilet and overflows from the basin into the toilet bowl.  Epsom salt is also used in the treatment and can be found in many pharmacies.  Finally, a thermometer is needed to check the temperature of the water and a watch with a second hand to time the treatment.

To begin the Sitz bath treatment, you first fill one of the basins with hot water that is around 105 degrees Fahrenheit.  Add two to three tablespoons of Epsom salt.  Next, fill the second basin with cold, slightly iced water.  First place the hot basin inside the toilet bowl and sit in the hot water, making sure that the water covers the entire prostate area and rises above the base of the penis.  Gently rock back and forth to keep the hot water moving against the skin.  Sit in this bath for about 6 minutes.  Then trade out the hot basin for the cold one.  Sit for one minute in the cold bath.  Repeat this cycle three times, making sure the water temperature of the hot bath remains the same.

The way the Sitz bath treatment works is that by alternating the temperature changes to the prostate, combined with the Epsom salts, the small ducts in the enlarged prostate called acini may effectively drain.  This reduces the enlargement and alleviates the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Before trying this treatment, please assess your ability to handle the temperature changes, as some patients have sensitivity issues.  Also, seek the advice of your urologist or physician in regards to your BPH symptoms and the Sitz bath treatment.

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BPH Diagnosis and Treatment

As men age they are at a higher risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH.  BPH is characterized by an enlarged prostate with symptoms including increased urinary frequency, urgency, hesitancy, reduced force of stream, dribbling, and frequent waking in the night to urinate.

In order to have BPH diagnosed, an examination by a physician must be conducted, in addition to the observation of these symptoms.  This examination may include a bedside bladder scanner which determines the amount of urine left in the bladder after urination.  The flow rate of the urine may also be measured electronically.  And, although an enlarged prostate does not necessarily mean prostate cancer, a prostate specific antigen, or PSA, may be ordered to check for cancer.  Finally, a cystoscopy may be conducted in order to determine the size and shape of the prostate and any bladder problems associated with the enlarged prostate.

If a patient is diagnosed with BPH, several modern methods are available for the treatment.  The first method is medication, namely proscar and avodart, to shrink the prostate.  The use of the medications leads to side effects such as decreased volume of semen and need for long term medication.  A smooth muscle relaxant may also be used, but potential effects include decrease in blood pressure, dizziness, sinus pressure, and retrograde ejaculation.  To avoid these side effects, patients may opt for natural supplements.

If the physician determines the symptoms to be severe enough, then surgical therapies may be advised.  These therapies include microwave therapy, trans urethral needle ablation, and laser/trans urethral resection of the prostate.  These surgeries are determined to be relatively safe, but in the case of the laser/trans urethral resection of the prostate, anesthesia is required and scarring is possible.

Overall, benign prostatic hyperplasia neither indicates cancer, nor does it increase the likelihood of prostate cancer.  But if you are concerned about an enlarged prostate, you should make an appointment with your physician as soon as possible.  The symptoms of BPH are simple to diagnose and relatively easy to alleviate as many treatment options are available to you.

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What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia is an enlarged prostate that leads to increased urinary frequency, urgency, hesitancy, reduced force of stream, dribbling, and frequent waking in the night to urinate.  As the prostate enlarges, tissue surrounding it prevents further expansion; however, the gland within the prostate presses up against the urethra and the bladder wall becomes thicker and irritable.  This causes the bladder muscles to weaken, which decreases its ability to empty completely and urine remains within the bladder.  The narrowed urethra and inability of the bladder to completely empty itself are the main causes of the problems associated with BPH.

Currently, two main theories exist as to why benign prostatic hyperplasia occurs as men age.  The first theory deals with the hormones testosterone and estrogen.  Men produce both of these hormones, but as men age the amount of the active testosterone in the blood subsides, which means that a higher proportion of estrogen is found.  Based on animal studies, benign prostatic hyperplasia may occur because the higher proportion of estrogen within the prostate gland promotes cell growth.

The second theory focuses on dihydrotestosterone (DHT).  This substance is normally produced from testosterone in the prostate.  Although many animals lose the ability to produce DHT as they age, older men are still capable of producing and accumulating high levels of DHT, which may encourage the growth of cells.  Further, benign prostatic hyperplasia may occur because prostate gland cells are given instructions to grow or become more sensitive to growth hormones later in life.

The exact cause of benign prostatic hyperplasia is still not well-known, but scientists are certain that it has to do with normal aging processes.  If your physician has diagnosed you with BPH, there is no need for concern.  With over 4 million patients diagnosed with benign prostatic hyperplasia, the condition is very common and the problems are well documented.

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Take A Quiz To Determine If You Need Treatment

Here are some good questions to ask yourself, or if you are a woman checking this out for your partner, quiz him with these questions. Rate each question with the following points: Not at all=0, Less than 1 time in 5=1, Less than half the time=2, about half the time=3, more than half the time=4, almost always=5.

  1. Over the past month, how often have you had a sensation of not emptying out your bladder completely after you finished urinating?
  2. Over the past month, how often have you had to urinate again less than two hours after you finished urinating?
  3. Over the past month, how often have you found you stopped and started again several times when you urinated?
  4. Over the past month, how often have you found it difficult to postpone urination?
  5. Over the past month, how often have you had a weak urinary stream?
  6. Over the past month, how often have you had to push or strain to begin urination?
  7. Over the past month, how many times did you most typically get up to urinate from the time you went to bed at night until the time you got up in the morning?

If the score is under 8, prostate disease is mild and no real treatment is needed; a score of 8 to 17 indicates moderate disease and treatment can be done; a score over 18 is severe disease and treatment is most frequently surgery.

Article courtesy of Male Health Center.

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