Sperling Prostate Center

The One Secret Ingredient to Know Everything About Your Prostate

Your small but mighty prostate gland deserves your attention but you probably never think about it. Never, that is, until it starts squawking by presenting symptoms.

Such symptoms are usually not signs of a serious condition like prostate cancer (PCa), the most common cancer in men. There are noncancerous prostate conditions like prostatitis, infection, or BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) that can cause urinary symptoms, discomfort, even pain. As for PCa itself, it rarely has any symptoms until it is at a point where it has become aggressive and may not be curable.

In the recipe for detecting PCa, or any other prostate condition, there is a key ingredient: multiparametric MRI (mpMRI). Of course, mpMRI is no secret. It has been revolutionizing the world of PCa diagnosis and treatment for the past two decades. When performed by experts on a powerful 3T magnet, it produces a high resolution, 3-dimensional portrait showing prostate anatomy and tissue characteristics. When the image is interpreted by an experienced reader, it’s as if it shows you everything you need to know about your prostate.

A special secret ingredient

You might think the story ends there, but it doesn’t. You see, just as every man is unique, so is his prostate. The old saying that “you are what you eat” holds true for every part of your body, including your prostate. And it’s not just diet. You may be surprised to learn that you ARE the exercises you do, you ARE the stress that you manage. You ARE the happy biochemicals that arise from love relationships, friendships, and social activities. We now know that these things affect the health of your prostate as much as every other part of your body and mind.

Any imaging center with a 3T magnet can offer an mpMRI of your prostate, yet studies show that experts are better readers, so if you want the best information, you go to an expert. However, there’s another quality that is harder to identify, and not every prostate expert has it to the same degree. That quality is listening, and it’s the single most important ingredient in understanding the whole person, and how his lifestyle influences the health of his prostate. Listening is especially important in developing a treatment strategy if there’s a prostate problem. What a patient values in life must also be taken into consideration.

The clinical practice of prostate health is a science, but listening to a patient’s worries and goals—and really appreciating them—is an art. At the Sperling Prostate Center, each patient’s life and lifestyle matter in order to fully understand him and his prostate. It requires “listening with the third ear,” a powerful concept developed by psychoanalyst Theodore Reik. It means paying attention not only to what is being said, but to the emotions and ideas that may not be spoken but that underlie a person’s words, facial expressions and gestures. It requires sensitivity and empathy.

Your prostate gland can’t speak for itself in words, but it can communicate with you in ways that get your attention, and prod you to seek a doctor’s help. One of our Center’s principles of excellence is recognizing that it’s not a prostate gland that walks through our doors, it’s a person with a prostate gland. Our best service to that small gland results from listening to what’s important to him. That’s our one secret ingredient that may not be scientifically measurable, but helps us convey everything each patient needs to know about his unique prostate and how we can best be of service.

Contact us to learn how we can best serve you.

NOTE: This content is solely for purposes of information and does not substitute for diagnostic or medical advice. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing pelvic pain, or have any other health concerns or questions of a personal medical nature.

About Dr. Dan Sperling

Dan Sperling, MD, DABR, is a board certified radiologist who is globally recognized as a leader in multiparametric MRI for the detection and diagnosis of a range of disease conditions. As Medical Director of the Sperling Prostate Center, Sperling Medical Group and Sperling Neurosurgery Associates, he and his team are on the leading edge of significant change in medical practice. He is the co-author of the new patient book Redefining Prostate Cancer, and is a contributing author on over 25 published studies. For more information, contact the Sperling Prostate Center.

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