• A Patient’s Guide to Renal Cell Carcinoma

    Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer. It develops when malignant cells form in the linings of the tubules of the kidneys. One or both kidneys may be affected. Patients who have been diagnosed with kidney cancer are encouraged to speak with a urologist about their cancer treatment options.

    Signs and Symptoms

    In its early stages, renal cell carcinoma may not cause any noticeable symptoms. As the cancer progresses, patients may experience abdominal pain and swelling, back pain, bloody urine, and unintentional weight loss. Male patients may develop a varicocele, which refers to the swelling of the veins of a testicle. Female patients may experience excessive hair growth. Anemia, loss of appetite, pain in the side, and vision problems may also develop because of kidney cancer.

    Risk Factors

    Most patients who are diagnosed with kidney cancer are men between the ages of 50 and 70. Smoking is known to be a significant risk factor of kidney cancer, as is the long-term use of certain medications such as pain pills and diuretics. Other risk factors may include obesity, polycystic kidney disease, high blood pressure, history of dialysis treatment, and a family history of the disease.

    Diagnostic Tests

    A primary care physician may suspect kidney cancer upon performing a physical exam, which may reveal the presence of a lump in the abdomen and, in men, a varicocele. Then, patients may be referred to a urologist for further testing. These medical tests may include imaging studies, blood tests, urinalysis, liver function tests, and renal arteriography.

    Treatment Options

    Most often, the treatment for this particular type of cancer is surgery to remove part or all of the kidney. Sometimes, it may be necessary to remove the bladder, lymph nodes, and other surrounding tissues. Some medications may be helpful, although chemotherapy and radiation therapy are not generally effective for kidney cancer.

    Urology Associates, P.C. is your partner in wellness. Our urology team provides cutting-edge cancer treatment throughout Middle Tennessee, including kidney and bladder cancer treatment. If your primary care physician suspects that you might have renal cell carcinoma, call us without delay at (855) 901-1338.

  • Is There a Link Between Iced Tea and Kidney Stones?

    Kidney stones are a very painful medical problem. In fact, some women describe the pain as being worse than childbirth. Kidney stones form as a result of hardened mineral deposits and urologists say that people who consume high amounts of oxalates could be at an increased risk. Along with spinach and chocolate, iced tea happens to have plenty of oxalates.

    You can hear more about the link between iced tea and kidney stones by watching this brief video and consulting your urologist. The health expert interviewed here recommends drinking plenty of water with a lemon wedge to counteract the effects of the oxalates in iced tea.

    Urology Associates, P.C. provides sophisticated kidney stone treatment options in Tennessee. If you need to see a urologist, you can give us a call at (855) 901-1338.

  • Comparing Causes of Pelvic Pain in Men and Women

    The pelvic region is the lowest part of the abdomen or trunk. In men and women, chronic pelvic pain can have a number of causes, including medical conditions that stem from the reproductive, musculoskeletal, urinary, and digestive systems. Chronic pelvic pain may be sharp or dull, intermittent or constant, and mild or severe. It can also significantly reduce a patient’s quality of life. If you’ve been suffering from pelvic pain, it may be time to make an appointment with a urologist to discover the underlying cause of your symptoms.

    Causes in Women

    Most women are accustomed to experiencing cramps in the pelvic region every month, but some women suffer from particularly severe pain. Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for very painful menstruation. Chronic pelvic pain in women could also be the result of endometriosis. This is a condition in which endometrial tissue—which normally lines the uterus—grows outside the uterus. Endometriosis can be quite painful, although a urologist can recommend effective treatment options. Chronic bladder infections are another common cause of pelvic pain in women. Also known as chronic cystitis, this condition may increase the risk of kidney infections and even permanent kidney damage, which is why it’s particularly important to undergo treatment. Another possible cause of chronic pelvic pain in women is vaginismus, which refers to the extreme tightening of the pelvic floor muscles. This can occur during sexual intercourse.

    Causes in Men

    Since women are more likely to experience chronic pelvic pain than men, some men may be less likely to seek treatment for what is often perceived as an embarrassing health condition. But it’s important for men to take charge of their health and see a urologist when necessary. The urologist might determine that the male patient is suffering from prostatitis, which refers to an inflammation of the prostate gland. Another common problem is epididymitis, which is an inflammation of the epididymis. The epididymis is located at the rear of the testicle. Most often, this condition is caused by a bacterial infection .

    There’s no need to live with chronic pelvic pain any longer. Contact Urology Associates, P.C. at (855) 901-1338 to schedule an appointment with a urologist in Tennessee. Our practice also provides effective treatment solutions for patients with urinary tract infections, erectile dysfunction, and incontinence.

  • Understanding Hematuria

    Urology specialists refer to the presence of blood in the urine as hematuria. The urine may acquire blood at a few different points, including the kidneys, ureter, bladder, or urethra. Patients who notice visible blood in the urine should be evaluated by a urologist. The urologist will try to determine the underlying cause, which may be sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), physical trauma, viral infections, an enlarged prostate, urinary tract infections, or tumors. Other possible causes include kidney disease, stones, and certain medications.

    The urologist can conduct a number of diagnostic tests, including a dipstick evaluation of the urine, cystoscopy, and medical imaging tests. Since hematuria is a symptom of an underlying condition, the patient’s treatment will depend upon the diagnosis. If the cause is not known, then the patient may be referred for follow-up appointments.

    If you experience bloody urine, you can call Urology Associates, P.C. right away at (855) 901-1338 to schedule an evaluation. In Tennessee, our urology team routinely treats urinary problems and sexual dysfunction.