Kidney stones are hardened mineral deposits that form in the kidney. They originate as microscopic particles or crystals and develop into stones over time. The medical term for this condition is nephrolithiasis, or renal stone disease. The kidneys filter waste products from the blood and add them to the urine that the kidneys produce. When waste materials in the urine do not dissolve completely, crystals and kidney stones may form.
Stones may pass out of the kidney, become lodged in the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder (ureter), and cause severe, excrutiating pain that begins in the lower back and radiates to the groin. A lodged stone can block the flow of urine, causing pressure to build in the affected ureter and kidney. Increased pressure results in stretching and spasm, which cause the severe pain.
Bladder cancer accounts for approximately 90% of cancers of the urinary tract (renal pelvis, ureters, bladder, and urethra). Bladder cancer usually originates in the bladder lining, which consists of a mucous layer of surface cells that expand and deflate, smooth muscle, and a fibrous layer. Tumors are categorized as low-stage (superficial) or high-stage (muscle invasive).
Bladder cancer is two to three times more common in men and the incidence of bladder cancer increases with age. People over the age of 70 develop the disease two to three times more often then those aged 55-69 and 15 go 20 times more often than those aged 30-54.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability of a man to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for his sexual needs or the needs of his partner. ED is also referred to as impotence. Most men experience this at some point in their lives, usually by age 40, and are not psychologically affected by it.
Some men, however, experience chronic, complete erectile dysfunction (impotence), and others, partial or brief erections. Frequent erectile dysfunction can cause emotional and relationship problems, and often leads to diminished self-esteem. Erectile dysfunction has many causes, most of which are treatable, and is not an inevitable consequent of aging.
Adenocarcinoma of the prostate is the clinical term for a cancerous tumor on the prostate gland. As prostate cancer grows, it may spread to the interior of the gland, to tissues near the prostate, to sac-like structures attached to the prostate, and to distant parts of the body (bones, liver, lungs, etc). However prostate cancer confined to the gland is often treated successfully.
According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men in the United States, other than skin cancer, and prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, exceeded only by lung cancer. Prostate cancer occurs in one out of six men. Reports of diagnosed cases have risen rapidly in recent years and mortality rates are declining, which may be due to increased screenings.
The risk for developing prostate cancer rises significantly with age, and 60% of newly diagnosed cases occur in men over the age of 70.
Prostatitis is a term used to describe inflammatory conditions of the prostate gland. It is thought that most cases of prostatitis result from bacterial infection, but evidence of infection is not always found. An infected or inflamed prostate can cause painful urination and ejaculation, urinary frequency and urgency, and if left untreated, chronic, recurrent symptoms.
Prostatitis can affect men of any age and it is estimated that 50% of men experience the disorder during their lifetime. According to the National Institutes of Health, prostatitis accounts for 25% of all office visits involving the genitourinary system by young and middle-aged men.
Urinary Tract Infections*
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common infection that usually occurs when bacteria enter the opening of the urethra and multiply in the urinary tract. The urinary tract includes the kidneys, the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder (ureters), the bladder, and the tube that carries urine from the bladder (urethra). Men, women, and children develop UTIs.
Urinary tract infections usually develop first in the lower urinary tract (urethra, bladder) and if not treated, progress to the upper urinary tract (ureters, kidneys). Bladder infection is by far the most common UTI. A kidney infection requires urgent treatment and can lead to reduced kidney function and possible even death in untreated, severe cases.
Approximately 8 to 10 million people in the United States develop a urinary tract infection each year. Women develop the condition much more often than men. The condition is rare in boys and young men.
Testicular cancer develops in the male reproductive glands (the testes, or testicels). Testicular cancer is treated successfully in more than 95% of cases. Incidence of testicular cancer is rising. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 7,600 cases are diagnosed annually and about 400 men die of the disease each year in the United States. The disease is most prevalent in men between the ages of 18 and 32 and is approximately five times more common in Caucasians than African Americans.
Urinary control relies on the finely coordinated activities of the smooth muscle tissue of the urethra and bladder, skeletal, voluntary inhibition, and the autonomic nervous system. Urinary incontinence can result from anatomic, physiological, or pathologic (disease) factors. Acute and temporary incontinence are commonly caused by childbirth, limited mobility, medication side effects, and urinary tract infections.
Chronic incontinence is commonly caused by bladder muscle weakness, pelvic floor muscle weakness, birth defects, blocked urethra, brain or spinal cord injury nerve disorders and vaginal prolapse.
Of the several types of urinary incontinence, stress, urge, and mixed incontinence account for more than 90% of cases. Overflow incontinence is more common in people with disorders that affect the nerve supply originating in the upper portion of the spinal cord and older men with benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH).
* Information provided by the Urology Channel.