Radical Prostatectomy vs Radiation Therapy


Radical prostatectomy and radiation therapy are both cancer treatment methods. Radical prostatectomy is specific to prostate cancer and involves the surgical removal of the prostate, either alone or with other surrounding tissues such as the seminal vesicles and some lymph nodes. There are currently various ways in which a radical prostatectomy can be carried out, including robot assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy, open prostatectomy and laparoscopic prostatectomy.

On the other hand, radiation therapy, also known as radiotherapy, is used in the treatment of almost all cancers, including prostate cancer. It involves the use of high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells or to slow their development by destroying their DNA. For radiation therapy to work effectively, it needs to be applied consistently over a period of time.

Choosing between Radical Prostatectomy and Radiation Therapy

The main advantage of radical prostatectomy is that it is arguably a one time procedure. It takes just a few hours to completely remove the affected prostate and the patient is likely to recover fully, albeit gradually and with the monitoring of a urologist. The main disadvantage is that it is appropriate only where the cancer has not spread to other organs outside the prostate. If it has spread, then removing the prostate and leaving behind other affected organs will have no effect at all. In cases where the cancer has spread, radiation therapy may be the more reasonable choice.

Other factors that urologists and surgeons consider before suggesting either procedure include:

1. Age of the patient — Radical prostatectomy is offered mostly to men under 70 years of age because they are more likely to live longer and be able to survive any long term effects of the disease.

2. The natural progression of the disease — Slow progression of a non-aggressive tumor does not lend itself to surgery. This is a case that can be managed by what is called watchful waiting where the disease is monitored constantly but treatment is deferred for a while.

3. The possibility of cure — The goal of radical prostatectomy is to cure the patient of prostate cancer. If for whatever reason it appears that it is unlikely that this objective will be achieved, then radiation therapy or other forms of treatment should be preferred.


It is important to choose the treatment option that works for your body. In order to make the right choice, make a point of consulting a qualified urologist. Reading material on the subject should also be helpful, and sites such as the one operated by the Advanced Urology Institute should be a good place to start.
For more information, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.

4 Effective Ways to Treat Kidney Stones

Dreading the agony and pain of kidney stones? You don’t have to because the condition is treatable. And the pain and discomfort disappears as soon as the stones are removed.

The treatment you get depends on the type, size and cause of the stones and on the severity of your symptoms. For instance, if you are having very severe pain, your urologist will give you an injection to relieve the pain. A second injection may be given after 30 minutes if you are still in deep pain. You also may be injected with anti-emetic medication to relieve vomiting and nausea.

Apart from dealing with the symptoms of the kidney stone, your doctor will administer treatment to remove the stone. The 4 effective ways to remove kidney stones include:

1. Spontaneous Passage

If your kidney stones are small (less than 4 mm diameter) and you have minimal symptoms, you won’t require invasive treatment. In fact, once your urologist assesses that you can tolerate the stone, you will be given time so the stone can pass out on its own. In such a case, the urologist will only make the following recommendations:

  • Drrink a lot of water, as much as 1.9-2.3 liters a day, to help you flush out the stone from your urinary tract. In this case, you have to drink enough fluid — until your urine is colorless. So if your urine is still brown or yellow after drinking water, then you know that you aren’t drinking enough fluid.
  • Use pain relievers as you wait for the stone to pass out spontaneously. Since even a very small kidney stone can be really painful, your urologist may recommend pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol or others), naproxen sodium (Aleve), or ibuprofen (Motrin IB, Advil or others) to relieve the pain. The pain will only last a few days and often disappears soon after the stone is passed.
  • Take medication to help you pass the stone. Such medication, often alpha blockers, help to relax ureter muscles and allow the stone to be flushed out of your urinary system faster and with less pain.

With these recommendations you are expected to wait until the stone passes out and then to collect the stone for analysis by your urologist in order to help determine if there is need for further treatment. To collect the stone, you simply filter your urine through a stocking or gauze as you urinate.

2. Extracorporeal Shock-Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL)

What if your kidney stone is too large to pass out in urine? In that case, your doctor may recommend a procedure called extracorporeal shock-wave lithotripsy. The ESWL procedure uses sound waves to generate strong vibrations (called shock waves), which break the stone into tinier pieces that can easily and less painfully pass through urine.

The high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) are directed at the stone from a machine for 45-60 minutes. Because this can be a bit uncomfortable, you will undergo the procedure under light anesthesia or sedation to reduce the discomfort. The ESWL procedure is 99 percent effective for kidney stones that are up to 20 mm (0.8inch) in diameter. But you may require one or more ESWL sessions for the kidney stones to be effectively removed.

3. Ureteroscopy

What if the stone is stuck somewhere in your urinary tract, such as the ureter? In that case, your urologist may recommend ureteroscopy, a procedure that’s also called RIRS (retrograde intrarenal surgery). During ureteroscopy your doctor passes a long thin telescope, a ureteroscope, through your urethra, into the bladder and into the ureter, or wherever the stone is stuck.

After locating the stone the urologist uses a special instrument or laser energy to break the stone into tiny pieces that can pass out naturally in urine. The doctor then may place a small plastic tube (stent) temporarily in the ureter to help drain the stone fragments into your bladder, relieve swelling and hasten healing. Ureteroscopy is conducted under general anesthesia, so you shouldn’t operate machinery or drive for up to 48 hours after treatment. It is 50-80 percent effective for kidney stones that are 15 mm (0.6inch) in diameter.

4. Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL)

In circumstances where ESWL isn’t appropriate, such as when you are obese, larger stones may require an alternative procedure called percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL). It is a surgical procedure for removing kidney stones using a small thin telescopic instrument known as a nephroscope. The instrument is inserted through a small incision made in your back and guided carefully to your kidney or ureter. Once the stone is located it is either broken into smaller pieces (with pneumatic energy or laser) or pulled out. PCNL has 86 percent efficacy for kidney stones of 21-30 mm in diameter and is performed under general anesthesia.

When should you seek treatment for kidney stones? You need urgent treatment if:

  1. Your pain is sudden, severe or gets worse.
  2. You have a fever of 100.4 F or higher.
  3. You have one or more episodes of shaking or shivering.

At Advanced Urology Institute we have assembled a team of skilled and experienced urologists to help diagnose and treat kidney stones and other urological problems safely and effectively. We offer all 4 effective treatments for kidney stones and have the latest equipment and technology to make the treatment process as painless and comfortable as possible. So don’t try to endure the pain even a day longer before you see us and let us fix it. For more information on kidney stones and other urological disorders, visit the “Advanced Urology Institute’” site.

Benefits of Testosterone Therapy

Secreted primarily in the testicles, testosterone is a critical hormone responsible for male growth and masculine characteristics. The levels of testosterone increase exponentially in childhood and hit a peak during adolescence, then begin to decline by about 1 percent every year between the ages of 30 and 40 years and older. The gradual decline can be due to either normal aging processes or a condition called hypogonadism. Hypogonadism is a disorder in which the body fails to produce normal quantities of testosterone. It often occurs when there is a problem with the pituitary gland (which controls the testicles) or with the testicles themselves. For men with testosterone levels below the normal range, testosterone replacement therapy can relieve symptoms of low-T and provide many benefits.

Normal Testosterone Levels

For men, the normal range of total testosterone is 300-1,200 ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter). Men with testosterone levels within this range rarely have any problems associated with low testosterone. However, since total testosterone does not usually provide the full picture, doctors often measure and use the levels of free testosterone to assess a man’s vulnerability to low-T symptoms. Free testosterone means the amount of testosterone hormone that is active in the body at any given time. Men with total testosterone levels within the normal range can still suffer from the classic low-T symptoms if their free testosterone levels fall short.

Implications of Low Free Testosterone

The free testosterone level is a clearer indicator of a man’s true testosterone status. In fact, low free-T is almost exclusively associated with sex difficulties. Low testosterone diminishes sex drive in men and results in loss of energy and motivation and poor performance in bed. Men with low testosterone also may suffer from fewer spontaneous erections, slightly lower sperm count, increased body fat, decreased muscle strength and mass, fragile bones, tenderness or swelling of breast tissue, hot flashes, increased fatigue, feelings of depression and sadness, trouble with concentration and memory, lowered self-confidence and motivation, and a degraded overall sense of well-being. These symptoms can be relieved through testosterone replacement therapy.

Benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy

There is no doubt that testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can quickly revive a man’s interest in sex, boost his ability to maintain an erection and recreate the “wow” factor of his orgasms. Treating sexual symptoms is a good enough reason for men to start testosterone therapy. But because testosterone therapy also can improve a man’s health beyond the bedroom, bringing testosterone levels back to normal is a good decision for every man who wants to feel better. Replacement therapy improves bone mineral density, boosts overall bone strength, increases muscle mass and strength, boosts red blood cell production, enhances hemoglobin levels and corrects both iron deficiency anemia and unexplained anemia. Testosterone therapy also improves mood, alleviates depression, irritability and fatigue, relieves disorders linked to testosterone deficiency such as osteoporosis and boosts insulin sensitivity, which can benefit men with diabetes or minimize the risk of diabetes in men with functioning pancreas.

Should You Opt For Testosterone Therapy?

Testosterone replacement therapy is ideal for men with testosterone levels below 300 ng/dL or those experiencing symptoms of low testosterone. Undergoing replacement therapy can help you restore your testosterone levels to normal and improve your libido, cognition, mood, bone density, muscle mass and red blood cell production. However, you should remember that the therapy is only necessary if you have low T. If you are not sure whether the therapy is right for you, speak with your doctor. The doctor will conduct the requisite tests for low-T and guide you accordingly.

At Advanced Urology Institute, we help men recover from their old, tired and depressed selves through safe and effective testosterone replacement therapy. We deliver this therapy after accurate measurements of testosterone levels to ensure that we give testosterone only to the right people. If you have symptoms of low-T or suspect that your levels could be low, speak to one of our urologists. We will ensure to get you back to a more energetic, motivated and happy self. For more information on the diagnosis and treatment for low testosterone, visit the “Advanced Urology Institute” site.

What are the Symptoms of Low Testosterone

Produced in the testicles (testes), testosterone is the hormone responsible for masculinity and muscular development. It is the hormone that fuels sex drive, creates a deep voice, boosts muscle mass, regulates mood, controls body and facial hair patterns, and regulates bone strength. Testosterone levels usually decrease as men age, with studies showing that a man loses roughly 10 percent of testosterone each decade after reaching the age of 30.

Symptoms of low testosterone levels

Since the reduction in the level of testosterone is typically gradual, the symptoms take longer to occur. Generally, however, about 30 percent of all men will experience symptoms of low testosterone after the age of 50. Andropause is the term used to describe a decrease in the level of testosterone hormone in men. Men experiencing andropause can suffer various symptoms associated with the condition and may be at risk of having other serious health problems like osteoporosis if proper treatment is not administered.

The symptoms of low testosterone include:

  1. Diminished sexual desire (low libido)
  2. Problems getting erections or weak erections
  3. Fatigue and weakness
  4. Hot flashes
  5. Irritable moods
  6. Depression
  7. Increased body fat
  8. Loss of muscle mass or strength

Low testosterone can cause various complications or even change a man’s body. For instance, it can lead to obesity, hair loss, muscular atrophy (less muscle mass), softer testicles, smaller testicles, cardiovascular problems, larger breasts and brittle bones (osteoporosis).

Causes of low testosterone

Even though aging is the most frequent cause of low levels of testosterone in men, several other factors may be involved. Common causes of low-T include:

  1. Kidney disease
  2. Diabetes
  3. Testicular injuries
  4. Liver disease
  5. COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  6. Radiation therapy
  7. Steroid medications
  8. Pituitary gland disorders
  9. Chemotherapy

Men also may be tested for low-T if they have very low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, low sperm count, hair loss, reduced muscle mass or osteoporosis. And because the symptoms of low testosterone are not specific, a doctor may want to first rule out other conditions with similar symptoms before treatment.

Treatment of low testosterone

Testosterone replacement is the most common treatment for men having low-T. The therapy is administered to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life. The testosterone used in the replacement therapy is usually available in various preparations, including gels, capsules, skin patches and injections. The doctor will decide if testosterone replacement therapy is appropriate for a patient. For instance, the treatment is not appropriate for men with prostate cancer and breast cancer. Men with an enlarged prostate, liver disease, kidney disease or who are using blood thinners may or may not undergo replacement therapy depending on their medical history.

At Advanced Urology Institute, we have a long history of treating low testosterone. We put the interest and health of our patients first and always discuss with our patients in great length their conditions and medical history before we administer treatment. For more information, visit the “Advanced Urology Institute” site.