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Urinary Tract Infection and Prostate Problems: Should you get a PSA test?

A recent interview done with Dr Sam Peh for Epoch Times.

Prevention of Urological problems has the same basis as in other health issues in our community.

By PanAsia Surgery Group

Interview with Dr Sam Peh, Consultant Urologist, Laparoscopic Urological Procedures, Stone Surgery, Andrology, General Urology on Urological and Prostate Problems.


What urinary tract problems do you commonly see in your clinic?
In men, kidney stones and prostate diseases make up the most cases seen in an urologist’s clinic. Urine infection is by far the most common urological problem in women.


Has there been an increase in urinary tract problems?
Urologists are seeing more cases of kidney stones and urinary tract infection.
How can we prevent urinary tract, or urological, problems? Prevention of urological problems has the same basis as in other health issues in our community. Patient education is important. It is the foundation on which all other preventive measures rest on.
Understanding a health problem enables person to modify his or her lifestyle to reduce the risks.
also enables a person to decide when he or she should seek medical opinion, and also when to go
for health screening.
For example, the majority of kidney stones are due to the eating and drinking habits of patients. So part of the treatment of patients with kidney stones will include educating them on the necessary dietary modifications needed to reduce the risk of future stones forming.


Why is it important to go for screening?
The rational for screening is that detecting a disease earlier advantageous as it can prevent irreversible organ damage or, in the case of cancer, allows for curative treatment. The problem with screening is that there is no perfect screening method and in a disease like cancer of the prostate, screening may lead to overtreatment.


Who should go for screening?
For urological diseases, those patients who are at risk of prostate cancer come to mind. Male patients who have first degree male relatives with cancer should go for screening.
How do you screen for prostate and other urological problems?
Screening for prostate cancer involves a blood test called PSA. A complete screening should also include a history as well as physical examination. It should be done annually for those at risk. Prostate cancer screening is the only widely practiced screening for urological diseases.


Do you have any thoughts about your area of specialty?
Urology as a specialty is relatively new. When I started my urology training 25 years ago, there were many general surgeons who doubled as urologists in Singapore. Now there are more than 120 urologists, including those in training, registered with the Singapore Urology Association. The urologists have now further sub specialised into andrologists, uro-oncologists, female urologists and so on. It parallels the rapid progress of medicine in Singapore.


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