Tag Archive | "enlarged prostate"

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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11 Tips for Decreasing Prostate Symptoms

Are you a guy who has to go to the bathroom frequently, dribbles after urination, or gets up at night frequently to urinate? You may be experiencing symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Below are 11 tips to help relieve these troublesome issues.

  1. Avoid spicy foods
  2. Don’t drink any liquids several hours prior to bedtime.
  3. Avoid diuretics such as coffee and tea. The caffeine may cause you to urinate more frequently.
  4. Limit your alcohol consumption, especially at dinner.
  5. Take medications such as water pills or diuretics early in the day so that you don’t find yourself having to urinate frequently at night.
  6. If possible, avoid decongestants and antihistamines.
  7. Don’t hold off using the restroom.
  8. Try to make a habit of urinating every 3-4 hours.
  9. If you bike ride, especially for long distances, take the pressure off your prostate gland by standing on the pedals ever 10 or 15 minutes.
  10. Avoid cold seats. (Ex: Football games during the winter.)
  11. Go, and then go again. After emptying your bladder, walk away from the toilet for a few moments and then return and try to empty your bladder again.

Although these steps won’t cure an enlarged prostate, they will help lessen the symptoms. If your issues persist or become worse, contact your doctor or a urologist to see what treatment plan is best for you.

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