Patient Information

Urological diseases are common. They often cause a lot of discomfort and at times, they can be life-threatening.

The mission of the EAU’s Patient Information is to provide you reliable patient information on urological diseases. This information takes into account the existing scientific evidence, the experience of medical experts and nurse practitioners, as well as, the views of the patients.

The more you know, the earlier you can take action. Patient Information helps you make informed decisions. For Urology Week 2018, we particularly focused on men’s health issues. Read about some of the most important male urological problems below.

1) Benign Prostatic Enlargement

The prostate is a gland located in the lower urinary tract, under the bladder and around the urethra. Only men have a prostate. It produces the fluid which carries semen. The prostate has smooth muscles which help to push out the semen during ejaculation. A healthy prostate is about the size of a large walnut and has a volume of 15-25ml. The prostate slowly grows as men grow older.

Benign prostatic enlargement is a common condition. It is related to hormonal changes which happen as men grow older. Prostate diseases can be very worrying but it is important to know that BPE is not prostate cancer. BPE does not become prostate cancer, even if it is left untreated. However, both benign prostatic enlargement and prostate cancer may develop with age. Some people may have both diseases.

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2) Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is a malignant tumour in the prostate. There are several stages of prostate cancer. Most prostate cancers develop slowly and do not cause symptoms. Fast-growing prostate cancer is less common. The risk of getting prostate cancer increases with age. The average age for diagnosis of prostate cancer is 69.

Because of the development in diagnostic tools and longer life expectancy, more prostate cancers are now detected. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in elderly men in Europe. The survival rate for prostate cancer in Europe is relatively high and is still going up.

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3) Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common male sexual disorder. It is the inability to get or keep an erection that allows for satisfying sexual activity. It can happen occasionally or regularly, with or without any clear reason. Some men with ED are not able to get an erection at all.

ED is not a life-threatening disorder, but it can have a negative impact on your quality of life and that of your partner. ED is a common condition in men of all ages and ethnicities. The risk of having ED increases with age. There is a wide variety of contributing causes.

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4) Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is any involuntary or unwanted loss of urine. It is considered a medical condition if it happens regularly. The risk of developing incontinence increases with age, but younger people may also develop it. Incontinence is common and causes distress and embarrassment. Many people go without treatment because they feel uncomfortable discussing incontinence with their doctor.

If incontinence is frequent or affects your quality of life, it is important to seek medical advice. In most cases, incontinence can be treated or cured with various treatment options. These include pelvic floor exercises, drug treatment, or surgery.

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5) Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is a growth called a tumour that starts in the testicle and can sometimes spread to other parts of the body. There are two main types of a testicular tumour, seminoma and non-seminoma. Seminomas can grow in men at any age but are less aggressive. Non-seminomas usually affect younger men and are more likely to grow and spread quickly.

Testicular cancer is usually treated with surgery. The testicle must be removed (orchiectomy) to remove the cancer. The tissue may be examined during surgery to confirm the diagnosis and stage. Additional surgery, drug treatment (chemotherapy), or radiation therapy also may be needed.

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