What's New - Newsletters, Announcements & Medical News Articles
Join Dr. Bepple for a free seminar on finding answers to female urinary incontinence.
Dr. Blumenthal to be featured on Larry King's "In View" highlighting HIFU treatment for prostate cancer.
CMUA Quarterly Newsletters - Spring 2013
Calling all men...March Madness is not far away! Ensure a weekend of lying on the couch watching your favorite college basketball teams with permission from your wife and an "order" from your doctor.
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News and Announcements
Vasectomy Madness: Schedule a vasectomy coinciding with the upcoming basketball tournament.
Howard County General Hospital Urology Department ranked in the "high-performing" category in the 2012 U.S. News & World Report Baltimore Metro Area Top Hospital Rankings for the second year in a row. [Learn more]
Prostate Cancer Screening
Prostate screenings are recommended for all men over the age of 50 and for men over 40 with a family history of prostate cancer. To promote early detection of prostate cancer, Laurel Regional Hospital in conjunction with Central Maryland Urology Associates, periodically offers free prostate cancer screenings.
Information and dates for screenings are available by calling the Laurel Regional Hospital Public Relations and Development Department at 301.497.7914 or 410.792.7636.
Medical News Articles
Faces of Cancer: Third in a 4-part series.
Often a symptom-free disease, prostate cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer among men, excluding skin cancer. One in five men will develop prostate cancer. As you get older, your chance increases.
According to the American Cancer Society, more than eight out of 10 men with prostate cancer are over the age of 65. African American men are twice as likely to get prostate cancer as Caucasian men.
The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland, found in men, which sits below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate redirects fluid for semen production and is situated in close proximity to the nerves involved in penile erection. It surrounds the
urethra, which carries urine from the bladder. A healthy prostate gland is smooth and firm and can be examined by your doctor when performing a rectal exam.
Development and Diagnosis
According to Dr. Clement Knight, an oncologist on staff at Howard County General Hospital, prostate cancer often develops slowly and can be difficult to detect at an early stage, when it offers the best chance for a cure. Should you experience any of the following prostate cancer-warning signals, consult your physician:
"There is no one major symptom of prostate cancer," says Dr. Scott Maurer, a primary care physician on staff at Howard County General Hospital.
Testing and Treatment
Dr. Alejandro Rodriguez, Central Maryland Urology Associates If a first degree relative such as your father, brother or son has had prostate cancer, your risk for development is significantly increased. "You should have annual screening tests for prostate cancer beginning at the age of 40, or at the age of 35 if you have a family history of prostate cancer or breast cancer," says Dr. Alejandro Rodriguez, a urologist on staff at Howard County General Hospital. Your doctor should perform the following tests during your annual examination to detect any irregularities in your prostate:
Digital rectal examination (DRE) is performed during an office visit with the insertion of the doctor's gloved finger into your rectum to examine the prostate.
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a simple blood test that measures the level of a protein made by prostate cells. "Your doctor may suggest a trans-rectal ultrasonography, performed by inserting a probe the size of an index finger into your rectum," continues Dr. Rodriguez. The probe emits high-frequency sound waves that bounce off the prostate gland and produce echoes on a sonogram, which your doctor will examine for abnormalities. If prostate cancer is detected, your treatment will be individualized based on your age, general health, extent of its spread, aggressiveness of the cancer, and personal preference.
Treatment options include:
Lowering Your Risk
You should follow general healthy living guidelines for prostate cancer prevention. Maintain a diet low in animal fat and high in vegetables, fruits and grains. tomatoes, grapefruit and watermelon help prevent damage to DNA and might help lower your prostate cancer risk. Avoid large
amounts of carbohydrates, limit your alcohol consumption and don't smoke. Also, take a reasonable daily dose of vitamin E and limit your intake of high doses of any vitamin supplement. You should exercise on a regular basis, too. If every man were tested annually with a DRE and PSA, deaths from prostate cancer could fall dramatically. "Prostate cancer has been diagnosed more often in the past five years because of the use of the PSA," says Dr. Maurer. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are key to survival. Be responsible for your health by undergoing annual screenings for prostate cancer. For further information on prostate cancer, visit www.hcgh.org or www.cancer.org. For a referral to a physician on staff at Howard County General Hospital, call 410-740-7750.
Originally published in Wellness Matters, Spring, 2002Howard County General Hospital offers
New Prostate Cancer Treatment
Robert Gessler, M.D.
A relatively new prostate cancer treatment, internal radiation therapy or brachytherapy, uses small radioactive pellets that are implanted directly into the prostate to fight localized cancer.
Brachytherapy utilizes imaging equipment such as ultrasound, CT scans, or MRI to view the prostate three-dimensionally. This allows physicians to accurately position radioactive pellets to treat the prostate cancer.
The permanent pellets, sometimes called seeds, are small, metallic objects comprised of radioactive material. They are placed inside thin needles and are then inserted through the skin into the prostate giving off radiation for weeks or months. During brachytherapy, the surgeon can see each needle entering the prostate with the ultrasound, and can guide its exact placement. This form of treatment minimizes radiation to the normal tissues and organs that surround the prostate, allowing more radiation energy to be applied directly to the prostate cancer.
Brachytherapy is performed while the patient is under general or spinal anesthesia and takes about two hours to complete. Patients are only required to spend one day in the hospital following the procedure.
According to Dr. Robert Gessler, a urologist on staff at Howard County General Hospital, "brachytherapy offers the patient the benefits of minimal surgery with minimal complications. Patients experience fewer side effects than traditional radical prostate surgery where the prostate gland is totally removed. With brachytherapy there is less risk of bleeding, incontinence and sexual dysfunction." Since brachytherapy is performed with a needle, there is no incision and thus minimal postoperative discomfort and time required for healing. The patient can usually return to normal activities within 3-4 days.
"Not only is brachytherapy easier for patients to tolerate, " says Dr. Gessler, "but recent clinical data suggests that it appears to be as effective as radical prostate surgery for those with early stages of prostate cancer."
Originally published in Wellness Matters, Summer, 2000