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Your Prostate Health with Dr. Sherman Hawkins, Jr. Urologist

Dr. Sherman M Hawkins, Jr. is a board-certified specialist in stones and oncology at Wayne Urological Associates & Incontinence Center. He received his Doctor of Medicine in 1987 from Georgetown University’s School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Hawkins completed his residency at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia and during his last year was selected as Co-Chief Resident.

My brother has just been diagnosed with prostatitis. Does that mean he has prostate cancer?

— Tina N., Kinston

Good question. I know it can be scary. The answer is no.

Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate gland and it is categorized into four major types: acute bacterial, chronic bacterial, chronic pelvic pain, and asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis.

All of these types of prostatitis can be treated with medication. There is also benign prostate hyperplasia, or BPH, which is another non-cancerous prostate condition. This is when the prostate gland swells as a result of the normal aging process. BPH can be minimized by changes in diet and lifestyle.

Remember, having a healthy diet and good hygiene can reduce risks for prostate problems. Diets high in fiber, drinking adequate amounts of fluids, and maintaining a proper weight all go far in the prevention of prostate problems.

What are the most common signs or symptoms of prostate problems?

— Daniel T., Goldsboro

There are quite a few; however, the most prominent are difficulty in urinating and ejaculating. If you observe these signs, please consult your doctor immediately.

Other symptoms of prostate problems include:

  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Pain during urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Pain or discomfort in the penis
  • Painful ejaculation

Keep in mind that in the early stages of prostate cancer, there are few, if any, symptoms, and it is possible to suffer from prostate cancer for many years and not even know it. If you’re over 40, get your screening; it’s simple and could save your life.

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