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Specialist Urges Everyone To See A Urologist

By Tammye McDuff

There is nothing more disconcerting when your general medical doctor tells you to see a specialist.  Out of all of the specialists, the two that most troubling to patients are cardiologists and urologists.

In the time of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, doctors frequently examined urine’s color, odor, and texture. They also looked for bubbles, blood, and other signs of disease.  Today, an entire field of medicine focuses on the health of the urinary system. It’s called urology. Here’s a look at what urologists do and when you should consider seeing one of these specialists.  Lakewood Regional Hospital specialist Dr. Albert Petrossian clears up concerns.

Dr. Albert Petrossian, Urologist at Lakewood Regional Hospital

“Urologists diagnose and treat diseases of the urinary tract in both men and women. They also diagnose and treat anything involving the reproductive tract in men,” says Petrossian, “In some cases, we may perform surgery. For example, they may remove cancer or open up a blockage in the urinary tract. Urologists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private clinics, and urology centers.”

The urinary tract is the system that creates, stores, and removes urine from the body. Urologists can treat any part of this system such as kidneys, which are the organs that filter waste out of the blood to produce urine; ureters, which are the tubes through which urine flows from the kidneys to the bladder; bladder, which is the hollow sac that stores urine; urethra, which is the tube through which urine travels from the bladder out of the body and adrenal glands, which are the glands located on top of each kidney that release hormones.

Urologists also treat all parts of the male reproductive system that make up the male genitalia, which is the organ that releases urine and carries sperm out of the body; prostate, which is the gland underneath the bladder that adds fluid to sperm to produce semen and testicles, which are the two oval organs inside the scrotum that make the hormone testosterone and produce sperm.

“Many issues that people have do not always happen just ‘because you are getting older’’, conveys Petrossian, “Most men will see a urologist when the prostate gland is enlarged or the urine stream is weak, however we are seeing more younger men in their 30’s and 40’s that have issues. Interestingly enough the prostate is the only gland that is found in mammals, with human beings and canines being the only species that can get prostate cancer.” He adds that this is attributed to the diet of processed foods and hereditary issues more than anything else.

But hold on ladies, women should also add a urologist to their lineup of doctors. For women, concerns would include bladder prolapse, or the dropping of the bladder; cancers of the bladder, kidneys, and adrenal glands; interstitial cystitis; kidney stones; UTIs or urinary incontinence.

“Getting regular cancer screenings is important, particularly if there’s a history of the disease in your family. Men with brothers or fathers with prostate cancer are up to three times more likely to develop the disease,”Notes Petrossian, “Sharing your family history with your doctor can help you get timely testing done should any suspicious symptoms arise.”

” The best way to protect yourself is to pay attention to your body,” says Petrossian, “watch for symptoms earlier rather than later. Being proactive can lead to earlier treatment and a better outlook.”