Symposium articles

Diagnosing and managing androgen deficiency in men

24 Apr 2017Paid-up subscribers

Androgens play a crucial role in bone, muscle and fat metabolism, erythropoiesis and cognitive health. In men aged 40-79 years the incidence of biochemical deficiency and symptomatic hypogonadism is 2.1-5.7%. Decreased libido or reduced frequency and quality of erections, fatigue, irritability, infertility or a diminished feeling of wellbeing may be presenting complaints. However, a significant proportion of men with androgen deficiency will be identified when they present for unrelated concerns.

Diagnosing testicular lumps in primary care

24 Apr 2017Paid-up subscribers

Although the incidence of testicular cancer has increased over the past few decades, testicular tumours are still rare and many GPs will only see one or two new diagnoses in their career. When examining scrotal swellings, the key question is whether the lump is intra- or extra-testicular, as palpable intra-testicular lesions are highly likely (around 90%) to be malignant, whereas those lying outside the testis are usually benign.

Managing lower urinary tract symptoms in men

25 Apr 2016Paid-up subscribers

Up to 90% of men aged 50 to 80 may suffer from troublesome LUTS. A thorough urological history is essential to inform management. It is important to determine whether men have storage or voiding LUTS or both. Based on history, examination and investigation findings an individualised management plan should be formulated.

The role of PSA in detection and management of prostate cancer

25 Apr 2016Paid-up subscribers

The prostate specific antigen (PSA) test clearly provides the opportunity for clinically relevant prostate cancer to be detected at a stage when treatment options are greater and outcomes may be improved. In addition, a raised PSA may often indicate benign prostatic enlargement, and this may provide an opportunity for treatment of this condition before complications develop. However, in some patients the PSA test may lead to investigations which can identify clinically insignificant cancers which would not have become evident in a man’s lifetime.

Careful assessment key in managing prostatitis

23 Apr 2015

Prostatitis is a common condition estimated to affect up to 30% of men in their lifetime, it is most prevalent in men aged between 35 and 50. Prostatitis is subclassified into: acute bacterial prostatitis, chronic bacterial prostatitis, chronic pelvic pain and asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis. Clinical assessment includes a thorough history and examination. A digital rectal examination should be performed after a midstream urine sample has been collected for urine dipstick, microscopy and culture. The prostate should be checked for nodules.

New developments in metastatic prostate cancer therapy

23 Apr 2015Paid-up subscribers

Advanced prostate cancer remains an incurable and lethal disease. Innovation continues to provide new hope for patients with advanced disease, with improved survival while maintaining quality of life. As patients live longer with increasing treatment options, education of all healthcare professionals involved in their care is crucial in ensuring holistic care for this complex disease.

GPs have key role in managing men with testicular cancer

22 Apr 2014Paid-up subscribers

Testicular cancer accounts for 1% of all malignancies in males. However, it is the most frequently occurring solid tumour in men between the ages of 15 and 34 years. Testicular tumours have excellent cure rates, even in those with metastases, as they are extremely sensitive to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Early diagnosis is, however, very important as treatment is more successful and less intensive, and long-term health consequences can be minimised. [With external links to current evidence and summaries]

Optimising the management of early prostate cancer

22 Apr 2014Paid-up subscribers

A suspicion of a diagnosis of prostate cancer is usually based on either induration or nodularity of the prostate on digital rectal examination or, more commonly, a rise in serum prostate specific antigen (PSA) level. The usual cut-off point for PSA is taken as 4 ng/ml, but in men below 65 a value of more than 2.5 ng/ml should raise suspicion. The Gleason grading of any cancer identified is an important part of the decision-making process concerning the need for active treatment, as opposed to surveillance alone. Gleason pattern 6 cancers are regarded as low risk, Gleason 7 intermediate risk and 8-10 high risk. [With external links to the current evidence base]

Managing epididymo-orchitis in general practice

25 Apr 2013

Epididymitis and orchitis normally co-exist with isolated epididymitis being more common than an isolated orchitis. Sexually transmitted infection is the most common cause in younger men and urinary tract pathogens are the more common culprits in older men. The most common pathogens in the under 35s are N. gonorrhoeae and C. trachomatis and E. coli is the most common cause of acute epididymitis in the over 35s. Acute testicular torsion is the most important differential diagnosis of acute testicular pain especially in younger men. If there is any suspicion of testicular torsion, the patient should be referred to secondary care immediately as surgery is required within four to six hours.

Advances in the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer

25 Apr 2013Paid-up subscribers

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. It accounts for nearly a quarter of all male cancer diagnoses and is the second most common cause of male cancer death. Most patients present with localised disease, but there are still many who present with metastatic disease. Medical castration using LHRH analogues has become the gold standard in managing both locally advanced prostate cancer, in combination with radiotherapy, and metastatic disease. Eventually most men with advanced prostate cancer become resistant to androgen deprivation therapy. This is called castrate refractory prostate cancer, and is associated with a poor prognosis. There is now hope for patients who progress after chemotherapy with the emergence of several new agents that have been shown to benefit patients. [With external links to the current evidence base]


Urology: men and women

Fracture admissions higher in men on ADT

23 Jun 2016Paid-up subscribers

Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) in men with prostate cancer is associated with a small but significant increase in fracture risk, a UK study has shown. Using the Hospital Episodes Statistics database for 2004-2008, the authors identified 8,902 men with prostate cancer who had been admitted to hospital with a fracture. Of these, 3,372 (37.8%) had been treated with ADT and 5,530 (62.2%) had not. There were 228,852 admissions in the background population.

What are the benefits of testosterone treatment in older men?

28 Apr 2016Paid-up subscribers

Testosterone therapy in men 65 and over with low testosterone levels produced moderate improvements in sexual function and some improvement in mood but had no effect on vitality or walking. All men enrolled were randomised to either testosterone gel or a placebo gel for one year.

Chemotherapy with hormone therapy boosts survival in advanced prostate cancer

21 Mar 2016Registered users

The addition of docetaxel at the time of hormone therapy initiation for advanced prostate cancer improved overall survival by 10 months, in a large  randomised controlled trial. The STAMPEDE study commenced in 2005, and has recruited men with metastatic, high-risk localised or node-positive prostate cancer who were newly diagnosed or had high-risk recurrence following previous local therapy. STAMPEDE utilises a multi-arm approach to test whether addition of other agents at the time of hormone therapy initiation improves overall survival.

Can NSAIDs reduce the need for antibiotics in UTI in women?

25 Jan 2016Paid-up subscribers

Although initial treatment of urinary tract infection (UTI) with ibuprofen reduced the use of antibiotics, women had a greater symptom burden and a higher risk of pyelonephritis than those treated with antibiotics from the outset, a primary care study from Germany has found.

Prostate specific alpha blockers increase risk of falls

25 Nov 2015Paid-up subscribers

The newer prostate-specific alpha blockers produce a small but significant increase in the risk of falls in older men with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), a study from Canada has shown. The alpha blocker cohort consisted of 147,084 men aged 66 years and over, starting a selective alpha blocker (84% tamsulosin). An equal cohort of matched men, not taking alpha blockers was created on a 1:1 basis. The primary outcome measures were falls and fractures 90 days after initiation of therapy. Secondary outcomes were major osteoporotic fractures, hip fractures, hypotension and head trauma.



Should men who have sex with men be screened for hepatitis C?

21 Feb 2013Paid-up subscribers

Reports of acute HCV infection in HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) have emerged where sexual exposure was the only risk factor. In a systematic review, HIV-positive MSM had approximately four times the risk of acquiring acute HCV infection compared with HIV-negative MSM. The data suggest it would be reasonable to consider routine screening for HCV in HIV-positive MSM.

Do 5-ARIs have a role in preventing BPH?

21 Aug 2012Paid-up subscribers

Treating asymptomatic older men with 5-alpha reductase inhibitors may reduce their risk of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). However, the case for prophylactic use of these drugs is still unproven. Dr Jonathan Rees, GPwSI Urology, Bristol, considers the implications of new data from the long-running Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial.