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Join the “Movember” movement for men’s health – Ogden Clinic provided source, BrandView 11/13/2014

(KSL BrandView) OGDEN – By Dr. Tyler Christensen, Board Certified Urologist at Ogden Clinic.

November is also know by many as "Movember" — a month where men grow out their mustaches all in the name of men's health. Ogden Clinic has joined the Movember movement to help educate men about the importance of health screenings — including the simple PSA blood test for prostate cancer.

Here are answers to the top questions I get about prostate cancer and men's health:

What is the prostate and what does it do?

The prostate is a gland at the base of the bladder that produces chemicals and secretions that are vital for reproduction.

What are some of the problems that can occur with the prostate?

As men age, the prostate can pose two specific problems:

1. BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or enlargement and overgrowth of the prostate) resulting in difficulty urinating. Symptoms of BPH include a weak urine stream, pushing and straining to void, feelings of incomplete bladder emptying, and getting up to void at night. Men typically present with BPH symptoms around age 55 but can also present as early as the late 40s.

2. Prostate cancer - the most common invasive cancer affecting men in the U.S. The majority of prostate cancers are slow growing, but some may grow at a rapid rate. Prostate cancer affects one in six men during their lifetime. While it can be uncomfortable to talk about, prostate cancer has one of the highest survival rates if discovered early.

When should men begin screening for prostate cancer?

Recent guidelines from the American Urological Association support screening of men of average risk between ages 50 and 70 because this age group has been shown to benefit most from screening. However, men of increased risk due to family history or African American heritage should begin screening for prostate cancer in their 40s.

How does screening work?

Screening for prostate cancer is a lot simpler than you may think. Initially men will undergo what is called a PSA blood test. Men with prostate cancer do not typically have symptoms, which is why PSA screening is so important. PSA screening has decreased the death rate of prostate cancer by 40 percent due to early detection and treatment of the cancer.

Can a man live full and healthy lives without a prostate?

Prostate cancer is a very common disease, and frequently treatment for prostate cancer involves surgical removal of the prostate by the da Vinici robot. This novel technology allows prostate cancer surgeons to remove the prostate in a minimally invasive way, similar to laparoscopic surgery. The da Vinici robot allows 3D visualization, enhanced magnification and precise surgical skill. This means that patients experience minimal discomfort and rapid recovery. After prostate cancer surgery, men live normal healthy lives with normal anticipated longevity.

Men often avoid going to the doctor. It definitely isn't fun, but please remember that regular screenings and check-ups are not just about you. We owe it to our families to stay healthy as long as possible. If you are looking for a physician, click here to make an appointment or give us a call at 801-475-3160. We'd be happy to assist you and answer any additional questions you may have.