Advances in Prostate Cancer Research

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. However, it might not show any symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage. A considerable number of men only realize they have the disease when it is already adversely affecting their lives.“This cancer is a big thing, with huge effects on the lives of patients,” says Dr. Jonathan Jay, a board certified urologist at Advanced Urology Institute in Naples, Florida. “The condition can cause urinary incontinence, reduced sexual desire, erectile dysfunction, changes in orgasm, and infertility, among other problems,” he adds.

Treatable Condition

The good news is that there are various treatments and management options for prostate cancer, even if it is found at a later stage. When detected early, the cancer is highly treatable, and most men with the disease survive.

“Prostate cancer is quite complex, which makes it difficult to predict how fast or slow it will grow and the risk associated with it,” says Dr. Jonathan Jay. “That is why, during diagnosis, we evaluate several factors to determine the aggressiveness of the tumor. After we determine the risk associated with the cancer, we are better placed to recommend the right treatment for our patients, which can yield great results,” he affirms.

The cancer is categorized as low risk, intermediate risk, or high risk depending on its ability to grow and spread to other areas of the body. Low risk prostate cancer is slow-growing and unlikely to spread quickly. In contrast, a high risk cancer is likely to spread rapidly outside the prostate.

Improved PSA Screening

One recent advance in prostate cancer research is the proper use of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. Although the PSA test has had its limitations, it is still valuable for identifying and categorizing cancer as high risk or low risk, aggressive or indolent. When correctly used, it shows with accuracy those patients who have the aggressive type of cancer. This finding effectively guides the doctor to develop a more targeted treatment plan.

“The PSA got a bad reputation because it was used wrongly,” says Dr. Jonathan Jay. “But today, urologists understand that the PSA is still a very valuable tool in prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment. And it is now known that the significance of the PSA is not in whether it is elevated relative to the average, but in how it changes over time,” he asserts.

Studies have shown that the PSA is not abnormal just because it is elevated compared to the average. If the PSA of a man is stable over time, it doesn’t show prostate cancer, let alone an aggressive type of the disease. But if the PSA of a man has been stable for a prolonged period and then changes suddenly, it shows that something is wrong.

“If your PSA is one over the years, but changes to 3, then something is wrong, regardless of the fact that 3 is still within the normal range,” explains Dr. Jonathan Jay. “And if you’ve had a PSA of 6 over the past many years, then it’s not abnormal since it remains stable, regardless of the fact that it’s not within the normal range,” he adds.

Enhanced Precision with Molecular Biology

Significant progress has been made in prostate cancer research in the area of biopsies. Traditionally, prostate cancer has been confirmed and graded through a biopsy. To confirm a diagnosis, a urologist takes 8-12 needle biopsies along the prostate in a random sample and examines the cells under a microscope. However, while a biopsy tends to provide more accuracy than a typical PSA, it doesn’t give a perfect picture of the cancer.

“It is difficult to detect an aggressive cancer through the way cells look or behave,” says Dr. Jonathan Jay. “Besides, a biopsy may miss the specific areas of the prostate that would help to distinguish an aggressive from an indolent cancer,” he adds.

Advances in this area have ensured more accuracy and reduced the risk of misdiagnosis. For instance, abnormal prostate cancer genes can now be used to identify high risk cancer. The look of genes, occurrence of virulence factors, behavior, and other features are studied to better understand how likely it is that a cancer will grow and spread.

“Nowadays, we look at genes to determine the aggressiveness of prostate cancer,” says Dr. Jonathan Jay. “For example, genes of cancer cells may contain virulence factors or show how fast the cells will multiply and spread to other areas. This helps determine which cancer should be treated faster, and which categories of patients may benefit from therapeutic interventions,” he adds.

Apart from genomics, urologists can now use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology before a biopsy to look for areas in the prostate that are suspicious of the cancer. This is possible thanks to new technology that fuses MRI images with real-time ultrasound to guide prostate needle biopsies to areas of specific concern.

Why Seek Prostate Cancer Treatment At Advanced Urology Institute?

At Advanced Urology Institute, we understand that prostate cancer is highly treatable when detected early and accurately.

We offer comprehensive prostate cancer care that includes the use of the latest research knowledge and techniques. With the advances in prostate cancer research, we can know who has aggressive or indolent cancer with greater accuracy, minimizing the chances of overtreatment and unnecessary biopsies.

Moreover, our urologists are acquainted with up-to-date prostate cancer knowledge, tools, and techniques. All of this helps guide treatment and enables us to develop more targeted treatment plans for our patients.

When you come to see us at our Naples, Florida office for diagnosis or treatment, we will consider your unique situation from a point of knowledge and recommend the best possible treatment for you.

For more information on prostate cancer treatment and diagnosis, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.

Why Nursing Is Still a Great Career Choice for Women – Donna Irving ARNP

Donna Irving, APRN of Naples, FLHi, My name is Donna Irving and I’m a Nurse Practitioner with Advanced Urology Institute.

I would say nursing, in general, [is] for women that get bored easily or they want some opportunity that will expand through a lifetime. You could still work into your sixties (60s) and still be able to do something in nursing and if you become a Nurse Practitioner you can have several specialties. You don’t have to rely on one specialty, you can go to another if you so choose so it gives you a wide variety of jobs within a job.

Diagnostic Tools and Urodynamic Testing for Urinary Problems

Donna Irving, APRN of Naples, FLHi, my name is Donna Irving and I am a Nurse Practitioner with Advanced Urology Institute.

I think [with] the tool sets that we use, we have good ways to evaluate just with blood withdrawal, looking at the PSAs [etc.]. Then we have what’s called urodynamic studies, where we can put catheters in people’s bladder and we can actually tell them how well their bladder is working because we have men that will come in and we’ll say “We’re not sure if its your prostate or is it actually your bladder that’s not working”. [With Urodynamic Testing] we can actually measure both of them or we can do the cystoscopies, look up inside their bladder and tell them how big of a prostate that they have, how much is it impinging on their urethra and we can also measure their bladder so that we can tell them if they have a little bit of both, [and] so we’ll know how to treat them afterwards.

What Urology Procedures Are Performed in Our Naples Office?

I’m Rolando Rivera, I am board-certified in urology and female public medicine and reconstructive surgery with Advanced Urology Institute.

So the surgery center is designed for primary outpatient interventions that are fairly uncomplicated, so we do do a fair amount of things at the surgery center. We do our prostate procedures…Urolift, we do a fair amount of those. Simple reconstructive procedures [such as] public reconstructive surgeries, stone disease, those kinds of things [and] the more complex reconstructive surgeries that require specific equipment like I do robotic surgery for prolapse, that is a hospital procedure.

Advancement in Prostate Cancer Biopsy

Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer found in men. The likelihood of it forming in the walnut-shaped prostate organ increases with age. Luckily, there have been many major advances in how prostate cancer is diagnosed and treated. When it comes to diagnosing, board-certified urologist Dr. Jonathan Jay says, “First we must define where it is, how much of it exists within your prostate, and then what its behavior is like.”

Answering the where, how, and what is key to determining the type of prostate cancer and how to watch or treat it. Urologists are using advanced technologies to answer these questions. Urologists want to know how aggressive a cancer is when determining how aggressively they need to treat it. They can use a molecular biopsy and a high-quality T3 MRI to pick up on aggressive cancers. If an aggressive cancer is found, urologists can perform a more focused biopsy.

Dr. Jonathan Jay - Naples, FLThis focused biopsy is called a GPS Guided Biopsy and it has some very important advantages over a regular biopsy. The cancer may exist in a very small portion of the prostate, especially early on. This small cancer can be missed during a biopsy just by a sampling error, leading to a diagnosis that may not give a completely accurate picture of the cancer. But with a high-quality MRI, a guided biopsy can pinpoint the growth and the urologist can detect and determine the type of cancer with greater accuracy.

When the cancer is detected with greater accuracy, the urologist can now follow it more closely and understand what type the doctor and patient are dealing with. The urologist can perform a biopsy on the cancer to look at and understand its genetics. If the genetics show that it is not very aggressive or growing, then the urologist may decide to watch the cancer, as treatment may not be necessary. MRI’s and patient follow up can be used to watch the growth to see if there are any changes that may require more aggressive treatment.

Along with MRI’s, the cancer can be monitored with rectal exams and prostate-specific androgens (PSA) tests. These tools offer insight into the patient’s specific prostate cancer and its progression. If it becomes aggressive, the urologist can recommend surgery or radiation therapy.

A diagnosis is the beginning of a patient’s cancer treatment. At the Advance Urology Institute, urologists like Dr. Jonathan Jay utilize recent advancements in prostate cancer biopsies to provide their patients with the most accurate diagnosis and best treatment options.

Female Urology Conditions & Treatment—Dr. Jonathan Jay

I am Dr. Jonathan Jay, a board certified urologist with Advanced Urology Institute. While I am board certified in general urology, I also did fellowship in female urology, voiding dysfunction and pelvic floor dysfunction.

Dr. Jonathan Jay of Naples, FLOne of the inevitable consequences of aging in women is urinary problems. With increasing age, the pelvic floor muscles—a group of muscles that support the bladder, vagina and rectum—face the risk of damage. Since these muscles need to relax in order to pass urine well or have smooth bowel movement, their disruption may result in urinary problems, such as incontinence, overactive bladder, pelvic organ prolapse or pelvic floor dysfunction. Tension in these muscles may also lead to pain during sexual intercourse, painful or frequent urination and lower back pain.

Aging and urinary problems

As women age, they may develop and overactive bladder, which means they urinate at all hours and with little warning. Many women suffer from incontinence after childbirth, a condition characterized by unintentional leakage of urine when coughing, sneezing, laughing or jumping. Childbirth may also cause injury to the pelvic floor muscles leading to weak spots in the walls and muscles of the vagina when adjacent organs move from their normal positions resulting in pelvic organ prolapse.

Informed decision-making

Unlike other specialties, such as neurology and oncology, urology offers a range of treatments that deliver great results for these conditions. Actually, most patients do get better after intervention by a urologist.

In fact, one of the reasons I chose this profession is that there are so many ways to help rectify problems and restore normalcy to people’s lives. As a urologist, I get the opportunity to care for patients in their declining years when urologic problems are so common. I care about both their medical and emotional challenges.

As urologists, we have the ability to find your problem when you present with symptoms. Once the problem is identified, we educate you on what you need to do and talk with you about the different treatment options available. I like counseling patients; talking to them about the bigger picture and helping them make informed decisions.

And as we define these problems, educate patients and talk about the different treatment options available, especially the positives and negatives, we help our patients to make choices that they are comfortable with. Still, because we understand that these choices have risks, we ensure that we provide enough information to minimize the risks.

Most urinary problems are not life-threatening, but are quality of life issues. That means that by resolving them, we restore confidence, meaning and hope into our patients’ lives.

What does the treatment involve?

When we make choices for treating urinary problems, we prioritize the least invasive procedures in order to minimize the risks. Typical treatment begins with a physical examination and evaluation followed by a discussion of options such as physical and behavioral therapies–including exercises to build strength in pelvic floor muscles–and reducing water, alcohol and caffeine intake.

As an option for treating overactive bladder, we may recommend nerve therapy, a procedure which involves placing a needle in the ankle to transmit electric stimulation to the nerves that control bladder function. We may also recommend more invasive options for overactive bladder such as Botox injections and an implantable bladder pacemaker.

Depending on the symptoms, we may choose to manage pelvic organ prolapse using silicon or rubber diaphragm called a pessary, which is inserted into the vagina to support the pelvic floor. We may also recommend vaginal medications or muscle injections to help with pelvic floor dysfunction. But if the problem persists or worsens even with these interventions, we may explore surgery as a last resort.

Remarkable outcomes

In urology, we are fortunate that most of the problems are clearly defined, the treatment path is clear, and the results are usually good. At Advanced Urology Institute, we offer everything, from observation, pessaries and medications to surgery. Fortunately, most of our patients do well and get better after we apply minimally invasive procedures.

We understand that many women with urological problems might not know how common and treatable these problems are—a fact that keeps them from seeking proper care. So at AUI, we try to provide information to the public so that people are aware that there are solutions for even the most awkward and uncomfortable urinary problems. For more information on female urology conditions and their treatment, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.

Patient Communication: COVID-19

Coronavirus

Reschedule Appointment if you have Flu Symptoms

For patients who are experiencing flu symptoms: please reschedule your appointment for another time.

Please stay home if you are experiencing flu symptoms including fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, aching, headache, fatigue, or have recently traveled out of the country or been on a cruise ship. The flu virus can spread very easily from person to person.

For the safety of patients, employees, and physicians, we will be implemented visitor restrictions to our facilities effective Wednesday, March 17th.

Patients who are minors, have disabilities, or need a translator will be allowed 1 companion. All other parties will be asked to wait outside of the facility. Please call to reschedule your appointment today if you are having any of the above stated symptoms. We are happy to reschedule you for a later date without penalty.

Janelle Bunce, PA – Becoming a Physician Assistant

The field of medicine offers many opportunities for people who want to dedicate their lives to helping others. With hard work and study, almost anyone with a desire to work in healthcare can achieve that dream. One growing role in this field is that of the physician assistant who plays an important and involved role in patient care.

Unlike doctors, who spend up to a decade or longer in training, physician assistants can complete their degree programs in as few as six years. This makes earning credentials and beginning a rewarding career less costly and achievable in less time.

Janelle Bunce, PA from Naples, FLAlthough they may not be doctors, physician assistants have some of the most important jobs in healthcare and carry a great deal of responsibility. They assist with surgeries, see patients independently and take an active role in decision making with the doctors. They are an important part of the patient experience and share in the satisfaction of participating in overall patient care.

Physician assistants in the field of urology address a variety medical issues. From urinary incontinence, kidney stones and vaginal prolapse to an overactive bladder, a physician assistant in the specialization of female urology can assist doctors in treating a wide range of conditions while creating lasting relationships with their patients.

One physician assistant who is enjoying a rewarding career in urology is Janelle Bunce, PA. The educational requirements made it possible for her to begin assisting doctors within six years of beginning the required degree program. Janelle enjoys working with a team of nurses and doctors to ensure that her patients receive top-notch care. Her story and success are an inspiration to anyone with a desire to pursue a career in medicine.

Dedicated urology physician assistants, like Janelle Bunce, PA can be found providing excellent patient care every day at the Advanced Urology Institute. For more information, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website or make an appointment for a consultation today.

Treating Kidney Stones

Treatment of Kidney Stones

The treatment available for kidney stones varies according to the size and type of kidney stone and its location.

If the stones are small, they probably won’t require invasive treatment and can be passed with hydration and medication like pain relievers and alpha blockers that relax the muscles in your ureter. This is how most kidney stones are resolved.

Dr. Rolando RiveraIf you have large stones, however, your urologist may approach them with more extensive treatment. There are several ways to eliminate them. If you have severe pain, an infection, or your kidney function is threatened, your doctor will want to act quickly. Fortunately, during the 1980s a new approach to getting rid of the stones appeared on the medical scene and quickly replaced surgical removal of the stones. This treatment, called lithotripsy, uses sound waves to break larger kidney stones into tiny pieces so they can be passed during urination. These sound waves are also called high-energy shock waves and are usually implemented from outside the body in what is called “extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy” or ESWL. The procedure takes about 45 minutes to an hour and you may be put under light sedation during treatment.

If the stones are larger and located in the kidney, or if ESWL did not break them down, your urologist may perform surgery to remove them. Your doctor can explain the surgical approach he recommends.

What Causes Kidney Stones?

Calcium phosphate stones are caused by overactive parathyroid glands which are located below your Adam’s apple. When these glands overproduce the parathyroid hormone the result is hyperparathyroidism, resulting in an excess of calcium that may cause kidney stones. Your doctor likely will recommend treatment to stop your parathyroid gland from overproducing the hormone.

Prevention of Kidney Stones

You may lower your risk of kidney stones if you:

  • Drink large amounts of water during the day. If you are in a dry environment or exercise significantly, you may need even more water, drinking enough so your urine looks almost clear.
  • Consume fewer oxalate-rich foods. If your doctor determines you have calcium oxalate stones, he may recommend dietary changes to reduce foods that are high in oxalate, like beets, spinach, sweet potatoes, tea, chocolate, nuts and soy products.
  • Reduce your dietary salt and consumption of animal proteins.

Medications

Medications may help prevent kidney stones, depending on the type of stone. Uric acid stones, calcium stones, cystine stones and struvite stones each require a different plan for prevention.
If you reside in Florida, you are probably not far from an Advanced Urology Institute location. If you are near Naples or Bonita Springs, you may wish to consult with Dr. Rolando Rivera for your kidney stone symptoms and treatment. For more information, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.

What are the benefits of da Vinci Robotic Surgery

If you are facing surgery, you want the most effective and least invasive approach to the operation. You can rest easy when you hear that your procedure will be done with the da Vinci® robotic surgery technology.

The da Vinci approach has transformed minimally invasive surgery, enabling patients to get back to what matters sooner. Over the past 20 years, da Vinci platforms have offered consistent and superior outcomes, pioneering new capabilities in the operating room. The da Vinci robotic surgery has virtually revolutionized the field of minimally invasive surgery.

Dr. Rolando RiveraSurgical Approach with da Vinci Robotic Surgery

  1. Surgeons and operating room staff who use the da Vinci system are given comprehensive training by the manufacturer. Their professional education includes simulation for skills and procedures, along with practice and peer guidance.
  2. The da Vinci robotic surgical system offers a minimally invasive alternative to laparoscopy and also to open surgery. (Laparoscopy surgery is a procedure that uses fiber-optic instruments inserted through the abdominal wall to see and repair internal organs.)
  3. Because robotic surgery offers greater precision and control for the surgeon, and is performed by just a few tiny incisions, patients generally recover sooner.

Benefits of da Vinci Robotic Surgery for Patients

Patients will be thankful for the many benefits of robotic surgery using the da Vinci approach:

  • Reduced pain
  • Less blood loss
  • Reduced risk of infection or complications
  • Less scarring because of smaller incisions and fewer sutures
  • Briefer hospital stays/faster recovery
  • More rapid return to normal activities, including urinary continence, sexual function, and more.

Benefits of da Vinci Robotic Surgery for Surgical Professionals

To understand more about the benefits of the da Vinci system, consider these advantages. Aided by the da Vinci system’s ergonomic design, your surgeon is able to get a magnified 3-D view with high-definition while operating from a comfortably seated position. Your surgeon can operate precisely with these advantages:

  • Improved dexterity
  • Wider range of motion
  • Enhanced visualization including areas that are not visible by the naked eye
  • Improved access to otherwise almost inaccessible areas
  • Improved outcomes, sparing healthy tissue not impacted by cancer

The superior results with a da Vinci robotic surgery procedure are ideally suited for urologic conditions. At the Advanced Urology Institute, urologists such as Dr. Rolando Rivera perform minimally invasive robotic surgeries for prostate cancer, vasectomies and more complex surgeries such as reconstruction. For more information, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.