September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and physicians affiliated with Memorial Hermann Greater Heights Hospital are encouraging men to talk to their physician about prostate cancer screening and treatment options.
“Based on a man’s family history and other risk factors, I recommend beginning prostate cancer screenings anywhere from age 40 to age 50. The screening itself is a simple blood test, but it’s important to have several years of testing results so that we can look for abnormalities,” says Adam Hollander, MD, a urologist and Director of Robotic Surgery at Memorial Hermann Greater Heights.
Prostate cancer symptoms include a need to urinate frequently, painful or burning urination, painful ejaculation, or blood in the urine or semen. However, the American Cancer Society says not all men who have prostate cancer experience symptoms of the disease, and most men with early, treatable prostate cancer have no symptoms at all. Should a man be diagnosed with prostate cancer, there are multiple options for treatment, including surgery. Memorial Hermann Greater Heights recently purchased a da Vinci robot, which can be used for robotic-assisted prostatectomy procedures.
“Utilizing the robot decreases the risk of side effects like urinary incontinence. We also find that due to the smaller incisions, patients usually are out of the hospital in one day,” added Dr. Hollander.
Dr. Hollander says the key to diagnosing and treating prostate cancer is to have a good relationship with a urologist.
“Because there are so many treatment options, you want to have honest conversations with your physician about your personal priorities and values. Then, should you be diagnosed with prostate cancer, your doctor can best recommend a treatment plan based on your preferences,” says Dr. Hollander.