June is Men’s Health Month: Common Questions Addressed by Urologist Dr. Joshua Stein
Q. What are some of the biggest challenges you currently see with men’s health?
A. Men are often reluctant to discuss problems with their doctors. We know that married men live longer! Also, basic health issues such as obesity, smoking, and alcohol are often overlooked in favor of taking more medication.
Q. Men are less likely to see a doctor than a woman. What are some of the risks they run by not seeing a doctor on a regular basis?
A. Routine screenings are critical and can proactively identify problems such as prostate cancer, bladder cancer, kidney stones, and kidney failure. In addition, visits to your primary care doctor can reveal general medical issues such as hypertension, diabetes, and other major health issues that may go undiagnosed until it is too late.
Q. How often should men schedule a primary care visit? When should they see an urologist?
A. Men over 50 should probably see a primary care provider (PCP) at least once a year. A urology visit is only necessary if they have issues that the PCP is not comfortable managing or they require advanced care.
Q. What are the current recommendations for prostate screenings? Do they save lives?
A. Prostate cancer screening is still controversial. USPSTF guidelines against screening men for prostate cancer has begun to lead towards more advanced cases of prostate cancer being diagnosed. The USPSTF recommendations were reviewed and revised this year, such that discussion of screening between the doctor and patient is recommended for men between the ages of 55-70.
Younger and older men should also be screened in certain situations AND evaluating for prostate cancer in the face of new urinary symptoms is ALWAYS recommended and is not considered to be screening.
Q. What are some of the early signs of prostate cancer?
A. Below are some possibly early signs for prostate cancer.
- Frequent urination, often at night
- Weak urinary stream
- Difficulty starting to urinate and stopping when it begins
- Difficulty urinating when standing up
- Leaking from coughing or laughing
- A burning feeling when urinating
- Painful ejaculations
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs
These symptoms could be the result of cancer, but also could be indicative of other less serious problems such as a urinary tract infection or an enlarged prostate. That is why it is important to seek medical care from a skilled provider.
Q. You offer some of the newest treatment options for prostate treatment. What are some of these treatments and benefits?
A. I offer robotic prostatectomy for prostate cancer, which allows quicker recovery and less blood loss than open surgery. I also offer minimally invasive alternatives to TURP for BPH (enlarged prostate) including Greenlight laser PVP and Urolift. These allow for quicker recovery and shorter (or no) hospital stay.
Q. What is your background?
A. I attended medical school at University of Connecticut and did my Urology Residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital. I am board certified in urology and take special interest in the following areas: prostate cancer and benign prostate disease, kidney cancer, kidney stone treatment, erectile dysfunction, vasectomy, Peyronie’s disease, and robotic and minimally invasive surgery.
Dr. Stein sees patients in New Britain and Southington. Call (860) 826-4453.