What is the prostate?
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland whose primary purpose is to help in a man's reproductive function. The location of the prostate is just underneath the bladder in men. Due to the location of the prostate gland and its adjacent anatomy, it occasionally will affect men's urinary control or cause urinary issues. Some of these symptoms can include urinary frequency, urgency, and having to urinate at night.
We worry about the prostate possibly causing a problem when men have urinary symptoms. These symptoms can negatively impact a man's quality of life, and also be a possible sign of a serious prostate condition. Several diagnostic tools such as blood tests, prostate exams or ultrasounds may be used to investigate whether a man's symptoms are due to an abnormality within the prostate or from other causes.
What causes prostate symptoms?
Abnormalities in the tissues around men's urinary tract such as having an inflamed prostate can impact urinary control cause men to go to the bathroom more frequently, wake up at night to urinate or have a slower urinary flow.
However, it is important to recognize that prostate conditions are not always the primary cause of a man's bothersome urinary symptoms. Other conditions such as overactive bladder, diabetes, urinary tract infections, neurologic disease, and heart disease may cause similar urinary symptoms.
At Weill Cornell Medicine, the multidisciplinary physician team boasts extensive medical experience and a state-of-the-art facility which are critical for helping you find diagnosis and treatment for your prostate symptoms.
Dr. Peter Schlegel, Chairman of Urology at Weill Cornell and Urologist-in-Chief at NewYork-Presbyterian, discusses some of the processes that urologists use to further investigate the signs and symptoms of prostate issues.
What does PSA mean? What is an elevated PSA?
Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is a protein that is made by the prostate and usually leaves body through urine, but it can also become backed up and detected in a blood test. Elevations of PSA protein in the blood can occur because of benign normal enlargement of the prostate, but it can also be an early warning sign of prostate cancer, occurring well before any signs or symptoms of cancer would occur. To detect prostate cancer at its earliest curable levels, we use PSA tests as well as a digital rectal exam (DRE), which is a physical examination of the prostate done through the rectum.
PSA test results can be a sign that something is abnormal within the prostate and requires further evaluation. What is considered a normal PSA level depends on the man's age and also the rate of increase in PSA level over a series of blood tests. For example, men who are under age 40 should have a PSA that is less than 1 nanogram per milliliter. Men who are in their 60s may have a PSA of up to 4.5, and that could be considered normal. However, if from multiple tests it has been shown that the man's PSA is increasing quickly, additional evaluation may be warranted to investigate the reasons for high PSA.
Additional tests such as a PCA3 urine test, 4kscore blood test, prostate MRI and a prostate biopsy are available at Weill Cornell Medicine and may be pursued based on the patient's medical history and physician recommendations.
How can I improve my prostate health?
Urologists at Weill Cornell Medicine are experts in prostate health, and have been recognized as some of the best prostate doctors in NYC. Whether you are looking for cutting-edge treatment options for your prostate problem or are needing help investigating your prostate symptoms, our experienced team is here to help you with medical guidance and treatment.
Weill Cornell physicians can help you understand what causes prostate conditions, and your options for nonsurgical as well as surgical management of these problems. When surgery is necessary, our expert prostate doctors in New York are proud to provide minimally invasive surgical techniques, including laparoscopy, focal prostate ablation, laser surgery and robotic surgery.
You can learn more about some common prostate conditions and the latest advances in prostate treatments by visiting our clinical conditions pages listed below for enlarged prostate or prostate cancer.
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