SOMERSET, NJ - As we get older, it is even more important to schedule routine physical exams with your general physician.

Men over the age of 40 years old are at increased risk for problems with their prostate, which is a small walnut-sized organ that produces seminal fluid. Due to its location, men with an enlarged prostate may experience problems with their bladder functioning.

If you are experiencing any problems with urination including urinary frequency, nocturia (increased urine frequency at night), incomplete emptying of your bladder or dribbling, pain with urination or blood in your urine, you should see your doctor.

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You may need to go for a further workup including blood work, urine studies, ultrasound imaging of your bladder, kidneys or prostate gland for further workup to rule out urinary tract infections, enlargement of the prostate (also known as BPH -benign prostatic hypertrophy), or cancers of the prostate, bladder or kidneys.

Checking a blood test called a PSA, (prostate-specific antigen), can be helpful in detecting problems within the prostate gland. If the PSA level is outside the normal reference range and greater than a 4.0, further workup with a specialist may be recommended to rule out underlying cancer.

Seeing a specialist called a urologist, a physician who specializes with the prostate, bladder, and kidneys, may be needed along with an ultrasound of the prostate gland or biopsy, which is a sampling of the tissue which will be sent to a pathology lab for further inspection under the microscope to rule out cancer.

Prostate cancer is treatable but it is important for men to be screened. If you have any problems with your urination or concerns, be sure to schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss further testing and workup.

Prevention and screening is key!

Another helpful tip from Etheridge Family Medicine