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Men’s Health Month: Treatment Options for an Enlarged Prostate

June 7, 2021

Men’s Health Month: Treatment Options for an Enlarged Prostate
A 2021 issue of Harvard Men’s Health Watch reported that by age 60, half of all men will have an enlarged prostate. By age 85, this number jumps to 90 percent. An enlarged prostate is a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH.

What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)?
BPH means the prostate gland has grown larger than normal – it is not prostate cancer, nor does it cause prostate cancer. However, the symptoms related to BPH and risk of developing prostate cancer both increase as men age. The enlarged prostate can apply pressure to the urethra, resulting in:
  • Frequent urination during the day and/or night
  • The sudden urge to urinate
  • Burning, painful urination
  • Slow or weak urine flow
  • Difficulty in starting or stopping urine flow
  • The inability to urinate or to completely empty the bladder
  • A sensation that the bladder is not empty even after urination
To treat BPH, patients can undergo a same-day procedure known as GreenLight™ Laser Therapy.

What is GreenLight Laser Therapy?
GreenLight Laser Therapy is an outpatient surgical procedure that uses a laser to vaporize away the prostate tissue. To perform this procedure, Dr. Feder places a cystoscope, a thin tube with a camera, into the patient’s urethra. Once the cystoscope is up to the level of the prostate, Dr. Feder then guides a laser fiber through the scope and vaporizes excess prostate tissue. By vaporizing the enlarged tissue, the laser creates an open channel for urine to pass through the urethra. This procedure is performed under general or spinal anesthesia. Since GreenLight Laser Therapy is a same-day procedure, most patients return home the same day or stay one night. Patients are discharged home without a catheter.

Marc Feder, MD, of New Jersey Urology, a urologist on Saint Peter’s University Hospital’s Medical and Dental Staff, has been recognized as a Greenlight™ Center of Excellence and is the first in New Jersey to receive this designation. This designation showcases Dr. Feder’s high degree of experience with GreenLight Laser Therapy and his dedication to helping patients suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia with effective treatment.

Is BPH the same as Prostate Cancer?
BPH may co-exist with prostate cancer so it is important to be screened for prostate cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends screenings beginning at age 50 for men who are at average risk, and as early as 40 for men who are at the highest risk. A prostate cancer screening is different from a BPH assessment, but urologists will perform both.

Prostate Cancer Treatment Through CyberKnife®
One treatment option for prostate cancer is via the CyberKnife Robotic Stereotactic Radiosurgery System, a nonsurgical way to treat both cancerous and noncancerous tumors anywhere in the body. CyberKnife delivers beams of high-dose radiation with pinpoint accuracy allowing for efficient highly effective treatments without patient discomfort.

The challenge that doctors face in treating prostate tumors with radiation therapy is that the prostate moves unpredictably as air passes through the rectum and as the bladder empties and fills. The CyberKnife System utilizes real-time image guidance to accurately and continuously target the prostate, which often moves during treatment, automatically adjusting to this movement. During treatment, a patient lays still and breathes normally while the CyberKnife zeroes in on the prostate and irradiates it without harming surrounding areas. As a result, the procedure is more comfortable for patients and radiation is delivered more accurately.

CyberKnife at Saint Peter’s offers patients a minimally invasive, alternative prostate cancer treatment. Prostate cancer treatments with CyberKnife are typically performed on an outpatient basis over a period of four to five days, requiring no overnight hospital stays. Most patients experience a quick recovery with minimal to no side effects. 

To learn more about GreenLight Laser Therapy, call Saint Peter’s Department of Surgery at 732-745-8571 or visit saintpetershcs.com/urology. To learn more about CyberKnife, visit saintpetershcs.com/cyberknife.
 

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