Urology is the field of medicine that deals with the urinary tract in men and women and the reproductive tract in men. Like many areas in health and medicine, urologists (specialists in the field of urology) are working to bust the myths and be sure you know the truth about your health.

Urinating on a jellyfish sting will help.

FALSE

A sting from the tentacles of a jellyfish can cause significant pain. Although some say peeing on a jellyfish sting will help to reduce the pain, there are better and more sanitary ways! 

  • Rinse the area with vinegar or saltwater to help stop the stinging cells from causing pain and swelling. 
  • Avoid rinsing with fresh water as this could inflame the area and result in increased discomfort. 
  • Seek medical care for intense pain or swelling or if you experience any chest tightness or difficulty breathing after a sting. 

As a reminder, it is always best to urinate in a restroom instead of on a friend at the beach.

An enlarged prostate is a precursor to prostate cancer.

FALSE
An enlarged prostate is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH for short. BPH is the non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate. Prostate cancer can be seen in men with a small or large prostate size. 

Providers will assess men with an enlarged prostate to determine if they are at risk for prostate cancer by performing a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test. Men should discuss with their providers if PSA screening is appropriate for them. A digital rectal exam may also be performed by the provider to identify nodules on the prostate that could be a sign of prostate cancer.

Kidney stones are not hereditary.

FALSE
Kidney stones are painful and are linked to several factors. Some risk factors can be modified, such as diet and dehydration, but family history cannot be influenced. Below are some common risk factors for kidney stones:

  • family history of kidney stones
  • previous kidney stones
  • dehydration
  • diet high in sodium, protein, and sugar
  • male gender
  • Caucasian
  • over the age of 30
  • obesity
  • bariatric surgery
  • pregnancy

Learn how you can reduce your risk of kidney stones by following the tips here

The ‘little blue pill’ is all you need.

FALSE
For men with erectile dysfunction (ED), medications are available that can help the condition. However, ED is strongly linked to a man’s overall health and with more serious conditions such as cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. Therefore, it is important to identify and treat the underlying cause of erectile dysfunction. Lifestyle changes that improve one’s health such as exercise, stress management, smoking cessation, and a healthy diet can not only reduce your weight and heart disease risk factors but can also improve erectile function.

Prostate cancer only occurs in old men.

FALSE
About two-thirds of prostate cancer diagnoses are in men 65 years of age and older. However, men in their 40s and 50s may be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Guidelines from the American Cancer Society and other experts recommend that men have discussions with their doctor about screening for prostate cancer between ages 40 and 50, depending on their risk factors. 

While age is the biggest risk factor for prostate cancer, there are other risk factors to consider, including:

  • African American descent
  • a father or brother with prostate cancer diagnosed before age 65
  • multiple relatives with other malignancies, or known breast cancer gene mutations like BRCA 1 or BRCA2 
  • lifestyle and dietary habits

Men at higher risk should start the conversation with a doctor sooner, as early as age 40 to 45. Men without risk factors should consider screening starting at age 50.

If you are experiencing issues with BPH, ED, or kidney stones, our experts in urology are here to help. Learn more on our website

Elias Hyams, MD

Elias S. Hyams, MD

Elias Hyams, MD, is a board-certified urologist at the Minimally Invasive Urology Institute of The Miriam Hospital.