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Monday, April 19, 2021

TSD Health Alert: BPH

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Jack Hocutt
Dr. Hocutt is a Family and Sports Medicine physician in north Wilmington, Delaware. He is the former Head Team Physician of the US Olympic Luge team for 8 years and has been the team physician for several high schools in the area. He founded Kids v Cancer and ran the charity benefit for 6 years involving over 600 kids each year along with countless adults making significant contributions to Coaches v Cancer.

BPH stands for benign prostatic hypertrophy.  All men will get enlargement of their prostate gland if they are fortunate to live long enough.  Some will get this in their 40’s, others much later.  It can be a factor earlier as well.

Unfortunately, there is little relationship in the incidence of BPH with how well you take care of yourself.  (However, much of our good health and longevity IS related to good health habits, so don’t use this as an excuse to skip an exercise session.)

An enlarged prostate will often make it more difficult to void (urinate, #1, whatever your favorite term is) taking longer and necessitating more frequent trips to the bathroom.  So, you youngsters who teased your dates about going to the bathroom with each other quite often, you’ll get your payback later in life.

Anyway, once the urine frequency and slow voiding and getting up too often in the night gets sufficiently annoying, you men might finally mention this to your physician.  If treatment is started early enough, the prostate gland can be shrunk to half its size in 6 months or so by appropriate medication.  This will likely help significantly AND it will certainly prevent the gland from ever growing again (unless you stop the medication).  This medication is usually well tolerated.

There are surgical procedures that are very effective and safe as well and we’re fortunate to have several excellent urologists in Delaware who are quite adept at these procedures.

It is an art to wait long enough for significant symptoms without waiting too long to decrease the effectiveness of treatments.  Couple those concepts with fact that many men don’t even want to discuss this issue ever with anyone and we have a complex situation.  That is what your Family Physician and Urologist are for!

So don’t spend a half hour or more total time in the bathroom during the night.  Speak up and check out the options.

OK, if you still aren’t sure about talking to your physician, start by looking up BPH, prostate cancer, and green light laser on the internet.  Focus on WebMD and/or medical school based sites.  Just don’t wait too long – keep your all your options intact.  And I promise you, most physicians will make the conversation easy for you.

 

This is Dr. J Hocutt for Town Square Delaware Health Alerts.  Write to me at AskDrHocutt@TownSquareDelaware.com.  My comments are not intended as recommendations for individual treatment.  See your personal physician to decide what is best for you.

 

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