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Health Checkup: April 10, 2008

Seriously, What’s the Deal with Prostate Screenings?

Dr. Christen Alevizatos, M.D. from Chesapeake Urology answers your questions about prostate screenings.

Q: Do I really need a yearly prostate screening?
A: Yes! Prostate cancer is the No. 1 cancer among men; still, most prostate cancer can be cured if caught early enough. Since early prostate cancer usually has no warning signs, screenings are key to early detection and  recovery. Getting screenings is a no-brainer. It can save your life.

Q: Is 40 too young to start getting screened?
A: I recommend that men aged 50 and up (or 40 and up if black or having family history of prostate cancer) receive a prostate screening every year. This is a cancer we can cure, so why risk it?

Q: What tests are performed during the prostate screening?
A: A rectal exam and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test will be performed. The rectal exam makes sure your prostate is the right size and shape. The PSA blood test measures PSA levels. If these levels are high, it may be a sign of prostate cancer, an enlarged prostate or prostate infection.

Q: Does prostate cancer have any warning signs?
A: Not usually. That’s why yearly prostate screenings are so important. If you are experiencing frequent urination, weak or interrupted flow, or blood in your urine, you should see a urologist immediately. These are signs that should not be ignored.

Q: How can I lower my risk of prostate cancer?
A: Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, especially broccoli and cauliflower. Exercise regularly and eat a low-fat diet. Lycopene (found in tomato products), selenium, soy and Vitamins D and E are also important. At Chesapeake Urology, we have a nutritionist on staff who can work with you.

Q: Where can I find a good urologist?
A: Our doctors at Chesapeake Urology are all board-certified and among the most experienced in the treatment of prostate issues. We offer the most advanced minimally invasive robotics and procedures. Our urologists operate out of 22 centers conveniently located throughout Maryland. Call toll-free 1-866-955-0002 or visit www.chesapeakeurology.com to find a urologist near you.

Christen Alevizatos, M.D. is certified by the American Board of Urology and has been practicing urology in Baltimore for more than 10 years. He has served on the Surgical Quality Assurance, Cancer and Medical Executive Committees at Good Samaritan Hospital and has served as the Physician Liaison for the Prostate Cancer Support Group.

For more information about Dr. Alevizatos and the services available at Chesapeake Urology Associates, call 1-866-955-0002 or visit www.chesapeakeurology.com.

Chesapeake Urology Associates is the premier urology practice in Maryland, treating prostate cancer, testicular cancer, erectile dysfunction and incontinence, plus performing vasectomies, reverse vasectomies and more. If you have a concern, schedule a screening today by calling 1-866-955-0002.

SIDELINED BY KNEE PAIN?

Don't let knee pain keep you off your running schedule or on the sideline during your team's big softball game. Here are a few tips on how to get active again.   

CHANGE ACTIVITIES

That pain in your knee is telling you to give the joint some time off. If your knee hurts, stop running or doing any exercise that worsens the pain. But don't let it keep you from working out. Try exercises that don't put pounding pressure on knee joints like water workouts, swimming, biking and walking. And don't forget to hit the weights to build muscle strength to help support the knee.

PAIN RELIEVERS

Don't be afraid of over-the-counter drugs, just don't take more than the recommended dose. Acetaminophen eases pain, while naproxen and ibuprofen reduce pain and swelling. Gels and creams that contain capsaicin can also relieve discomfort in the knee.

ICE PACKS

To keep swelling and pain down, apply ice for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, four times a day. 

COMPRESSION

Compressing your knee by wrapping it with an elastic bandage reduces swelling while also providing support to the joint and muscles.

ELEVATION

Elevate your knee above heart level to limit swelling.

Source: WebMD Magazine

GO FIGURE

144
Number of fewer steps people walk for every hour they spend watching television.

Source: American Journal of Public Health

LINK OF THE WEEK

laserspineinstitute.com/spirit

Learn about laser spine surgery, a minimally invasive procedure used to relieve chronic back and neck pain.

Issue 3.15: April 10, 2008