With assistance from stylists Mary Hurst and Jamie Kasten from Le’Anne Nicole Salon and Spa, several men’s health presentation attendees ended their No Shave November efforts following the program from two specialists.
Prior to the arrival of the combs and clippers, Mercy Clinic Urology – Jefferson physicians Patricia Heller, MD, and Rajen Doshi, MD, offered information on a variety of symptoms and treatments unique to males.
“Unfortunately, men’s health topics don’t get a lot of press compared to other important health issues,” Dr. Heller said while introducing the program. “It is important for us as urology providers to speak to these very common but potentially sensitive diagnoses.”
The topic of men’s health is a broad subject and all the facets of urological health would constitute a lengthy discussion, but one factor is consistent, she said.
“We recognize that men don’t necessarily like to go to the doctor,” Dr. Heller said. “One-in-three don’t have a primary doctor. One-in-four haven’t seen a doctor within the last year, and most alarmingly, one-in-four admit they would delay in seeking care as long as possible, if seriously ill or injured.”
The focus of Dr. Heller’s presentation was the relationship between the conditions and symptoms she treats, and the variety of other medical concerns for patients, like heart disease, diabetes and many others.
“When we talk about treatment of men’s health issues, we don’t do that as urologists within a vacuum,” Dr. Heller said. “We work with our colleagues in primary care, cardiology, and endocrinology, just to name a few, to help men take care of their comprehensive health. A lot of things that bring a man to see us, can be linked to, be caused by, or have implications in other areas of health.”
Dr. Doshi specifically spoke about prostate cancer and the effectiveness of PSA (prostate specific antigen) screening in relationship to accurate diagnosis and treatments.
“Over the last five or six years there has been controversy and changes in how we are doing prostate cancer screening,” Dr. Doshi said. “There has been some overtreatment of prostate cancer, and that has led to guideline changes. We typically use the American Urologic Association guidelines.”
An elevated PSA does not mean that you have prostate cancer, he said.
“There are a lot of reasons you PSA can be elevated,” Dr. Doshi said. “Just because you are within that normal limit doesn’t mean there is no prostate cancer. It’s one of the things we are looking at to determine if we should evaluate further.”
The best determination for prostate cancer diagnosis is the PSA and the digital exam in combination.
“It’s an important part of the evaluation. Fifteen percent of men who have a PSA of less than four – considered the normal cutoff for most men aged 55 to 69 – will have prostate cancer. The rectal exam and PSA are both important, not just one or the other.”
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in American men, he said.
“It’s really important to talk to your physician and come up with a game plan that you feel you are comfortable with,” Dr. Doshi said. “The technology is advancing, but we are not there to have a test that says, ‘you have an 80 percent chance of having prostate cancer.’ The PSA is still our best bet.”
Mercy Clinic Urology – Jefferson is in the new Multi-Specialty Clinic on the first floor of the Mercy Hospital Jefferson campus. For more information click here or call 636-931-5080.
Le’Anne Nicole Salon and Spa is at 1406 David Manor in Festus. For more information click here or call 636-937-7111.