June is Men’s Health Month and what a better time to talk about prostate health and screenings that could save your life?
Bruce Koefoot, MD, provides urology services at the Phelps Memorial Specialty Clinic and sees men for a variety of urological issues.
Many men aren't sure what their prostate is, what it does, or when to call a doctor if they think they might have a problem. This small gland is part of the male reproductive system and is supposed to be about the size of a walnut. As a man ages, his prostate can become larger. It is a normal part of aging for most men, but because it surrounds part of the urethra, it can cause problems with urination. Typically, men will not see these problems until age 50 or older, but they can start earlier. For many men, the thought of getting prostate cancer is terrifying, but when caught early, it has high survival rates.
“I encourage men to get screened for prostate cancer at age 50 with a yearly PSA. However, if there is a family history of prostate cancer, they need to start getting screened at age 40 on an annual basis,” said Dr. Koefoot.
He emphasized the importance of screenings by adding, “You won’t have symptoms of prostate cancer until it’s spread beyond the prostate.”
Another problem for men as they get older is prostate enlargement that causes bladder obstruction.
“If you have trouble starting to urinate or have to go a lot, especially at night you may have an enlarged prostate. We have several tests that we can do to check your prostate health,” stated Dr. Koefoot.
He indicated that other symptoms of an enlarged prostate are an unusually slow urinary stream, straining to void, increased urinary frequency, and urgency.
For more information or to make an appointment with Dr. Koefoot, call Phelps Memorial Health Center, 308.995.3305.