News — Page 16

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“Most intensive pain I ever felt”: Kidney stones more common in men and could be sign of more serious health problems to come, docs say

Tony Monko has never given birth, but he says he’s experienced the closest thing to it – passing a kidney stone.

“It was the most intense pain I’ve ever felt,” said the 50-year-old Carroll Township man, who has also weathered multiple broken bones, shingles and recurrent Lyme disease. “The first one I had is really just a blur because I was in such pain that I was really out of it.”

Monko has passed two kidney stones – one when he was age 22 and one last August. An MRI showed he has another stone in his right kidney, but it hasn’t caused him any pain or problems yet.

Just knowing it’s there, however, is an unpleasant thought. “I’m just waiting for the pain,” he said with a half smile, half grimace on his face.

“The pain is excruciating. It puts people on their knees,” agreed Dr. R. Scott Owens, of Urology of Central Pennsylvania, Inc. in Camp Hill. “It’s the one thing that will make people cancel vacations. It’s hard because they come on so suddenly, you can literally be doing something one minute and be down with pain the next.”


Confused about getting a PSA test for prostate cancer? Read this: As I See It

By Dr. Scott Owens

From 2006 to 2010, prostate cancer accounted for the largest number (9,690) and the greatest percentage (25.4) of all invasive cancers diagnosed among men in Pennsylvania. Very troubling was the fact that the age-adjusted rate of prostate cancer among African-American men was 60 percent higher and the death rate was twice that of white men, with nearly one out of every six cases diagnosed at a late stage.

These data reinforce the need for health care providers, health systems and insurance carriers to reach a consensus on the value of prostate cancer testing and send a clear message to all men (particularly those with a family history or of African-American descent). The current situation is utterly confusing and stressful.


Vasectomies Are Easy, Affordable Option For Birth Control

By Dr. Frank D’Amico

The pill. The patch. The sponge. The ring. The tube-tying.

Most contraceptive choices revolve around women. This approach to pregnancy prevention is reflected in a recent Harris poll, in which nearly three out of four women said men cannot be counted on to choose a birth control method. Men agreed in almost equal numbers.

But while male birth control drugs are still a prescription for the future, men do have a surgical option to prevent pregnancy. Proponents laud vasectomies as affordable, painless and 99.9 percent effective.


Prostate Screening Remains A Crucial Step Despite What Task Force Says

By Dr. Scott Owens

As a practicing urologist for the last 18 years focused on treating men with prostate cancer, I was alarmed by the final recommendation of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that healthy men should no longer receive prostate specific antigen testing.

Prostate cancer screenings are still key to early detection.

What is truly shocking is that this recommendation was made without a single urologist or oncologist serving on the task force. Had the task force bothered to have a specialist in the field, it might have seen the study published this spring in the New England Journal of Medicine that once again reaffirmed that prostate screening saves lives.


Dr. Owens explains why he wanted to be a urologist

Listen to Dr. Owens explain why he wanted to be a urologist and why he enjoys his profession. “Some of the more rewarding moments is the look on a patients face when you review the pathology, you see that you got the cancer, it’s all contained and they are looking at you and they have this sense of just relief…”


A Clearer Picture Of Prostate Cancer

By Dr. Fred Newton, Prostate Cancer Center,
An integral component of Urology of Central PA
as printed in 50plus Senior News September 2009

Should you test for prostate cancer or shouldn’t you? No doubt you’ve read or heard about recent studies questioning the advisability of PSA screening for prostate cancer.

In brief, some researchers are concerned that prostate cancer can be so slow growing that the prescribed treatment and side effects are often worse than the potential consequences of inaction.

However, should routine PSA testing be discouraged, one very perplexing dilemma remains: How can any unsuspecting patient know for certain if he harbors cancer cells, and if so, whether his particular cancer is slow growing or of the more aggressive type that can quickly become fatal if left untreated?