13 Mar Prostate Issues are Not Just for your Grandpa
Prostate cancer is often diagnosed in men in their 50s and 60s, but younger men can experience this as well. About 40% of men diagnosed with cancer are low-risk, and will have “active surveillance” over time, but it should start with a blood test to see the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) level. If this is at all concerning, then it can be followed up with an MRI to see if a biopsy is even needed.
Often men will first have their PSA tested at age 50, but it is now recommended that a man has his first test in his mid-40s. If the PSA level is low, then it needs to be repeated only every 5 years until about age 60. Doctors are suggesting that healthy lifestyle choices might help to lessen the chance of developing prostate cancer—regular exercise, maintain a healthy weight and eating less animal fat.
For those who develop prostate cancer, it needs to be treated aggressively. If a man has to have the prostate removed, better surgical techniques have been developed that allow sparing of the nerves that control the bladder for urination, as well as erection and ejaculation. For several months after the surgery, almost every man will experience urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction, but pelvic floor physiotherapy can be helpful to return to a much better quality of life.
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that sling under the pelvis, and act as support and stability, as well as assisting as a sphincter. These muscles work collectively, and are generally ignored by all until there is a problem with leaking urine. Your pelvic physiotherapist can help you to make sure that you are engaging these muscles correctly and effectively, as well as teaching you how to manage the abdominal pressure changes that come with coughing, sneezing laughing or moving around.
There is much that can be done, and seeing a physiotherapist who practices pelvic health can get you back on the road to full function quickly.