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Prostate Health

Growing older raises your risk of prostate problems. In Phoenix, Arizona, urologist Dr. Desi Avila is an expert in diagnosing and treating prostate conditions. The three most common prostate problems are inflammation (prostatitis), enlarged prostate (BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia), and prostate cancer.

Enlarged Prostate

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is another term for enlarged prostate. Benign means “not cancerous” and hyperplasia means abnormal cell growth. The result is that the prostate becomes enlarged. BPH is not linked to cancer and does not increase your risk of getting prostate cancer, yet the symptoms for BPH and prostate cancer can be similar.

At its worst, BPH can lead to a weak bladder, backflow of urine causing bladder or kidney infections, or a complete block in the flow of urine, leading to kidney failure. These early symptoms are a cue to see your doctor.

Dr. Avila will determine the best course of treatment for your enlarged prostate gland following an examination and discussion of your symptoms and health history.

Treatments for enlarged prostate (BPH) include:

  • Oral medication, including muscle relaxers or hormone blockers
  • Laser prostatectomy (removal of the prostate)
  • Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)
  • Urolift® urethral lift procedure

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of male cancers, especially in men over the age of 65. Prostate cancer occurs when cancer cells form in the tissues of the prostate gland. Prostate cancer tends to grow slowly compared with most other cancers. Age, race, family history, and diet are risk factors of prostate cancer.

Symptoms of prostate cancer may include:

  • Trouble passing urine
  • Frequent urge to pass urine, especially at night
  • Weak or interrupted urine stream
  • Pain or burning when passing urine
  • Blood in the urine or semen
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Nagging pain in the back, hips, or pelvis

Screening means testing for cancer before you have any symptoms. A screening test may help find cancer at an early stage, when it is less likely to have spread and may be easier to treat.

To screen for prostate cancer, Dr. Avila performs ultrasounds and biopsies in the office, including an MRI fusion-guided biopsy of the prostate, which can help diagnose prostate cancer sooner and more effectively. This technology combines the images from a 3D ultrasound and 3D MRI to find tumors and perform a targeted biopsy all at the same time.

Elevated PSA Level

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by the prostate gland. Blood levels of PSA can be elevated in men with prostate cancer. Most men have PSA levels under four (ng/mL). Men with prostate cancer often have PSA levels or four or higher, although cancer is a possibility at any PSA level.

The PSA test involves drawing blood, usually from the arm. The results are usually sent to a lab and most often come back within several days.

By getting an annual prostate exam, Dr. Avila can detect any prostate problems sooner and increase your chances of successful treatment. If prostate cancer runs in your family or you have other risk factors, it is especially important to be screened at regular intervals. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Avila at Ironwood Urology, call (480) 961-2323 or request an appointment online.

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