Urology and Men’s Health: Big Strides in Medicine and Science

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Many men dealing with changes in urination, ejaculation and/or erections suffer in silence, but one local urologist said it shouldn’t be that way.

Dr. Pratik Desai of Potomac Urology is a fellowship-trained urologist with Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. He wants to change the misconceptions many people have about urologists.

“We treat multiple medical issues in people, from teenagers on. In our practice, we have several sub-specializations,” Dr. Desai said. “The majority of my patients have prostate issues, or they may have bladder or kidney cancer. We also have doctors who specialize in enlarged prostate, uro-gynecological or testosterone issues, sexual dysfunction and much more.”

According to him, urological health is part of a bigger picture in men’s health. “The biggest question we get is, ‘When should I start getting checked, and when should I come in?’ If there’s something that’s way out of line with your urination – blood in the urine, burning, and/or frequency – those are times for a checkup,” he said. “In young men, if they have decreased energy, decreased sexual desire or difficulty with sexual function, there may be some underlying issues that we want to look into.”

Prostate Cancer is one of the most common cancers in men with more than three million cases reported each year. According to the American Cancer Society, several factors go into when you should begin prostate–specific antigen (PSA) testing to screen for the disease:

  • Age 50: men who are at average risk
  • Age 45: men who are high-risk, African American men and men who have a first-degree relative with prostate cancer
  • Age 40: men who are at a higher risk, first-degree relative with prostate cancer at an earlier age*
    (*as recommended by the American Cancer Society)

“The earlier we evaluate things, the more options we have,” Dr. Desai explained. “I tell patients a better understanding of problems in a non-acute setting always gives us the option to treat something, rather than waiting and getting to a point where the aggressive option is the only option left.”

Education and awareness are key. That’s why Potomac Urology is pleased to partner with ZERO for this year’s ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk on June 15, the Saturday before Father’s Day.

“Be proactive and involved in your health, whether it’s through screenings and routine doctor’s visits, or there’s a concern and you want to see a specialist directly,” said Dr. Desai. “The most important thing is addressing these issues, which allows us to treat them sooner rather than later.”

To learn more about this year’s walk, visit support.zerocancer.org/site/TR/RunWalk/RunWalk19?pg=entry&fr_id=1832.

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