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Stage I or II (early stage) prostate cancer refers to cancer that is restricted to the prostate. According to urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar, this type of prostate cancer is easier to cure and treatment is administered with the goal being to cure the cancer.

Now that you’ve tests to confirm the presence of prostate cancer, you will need to learn more about the traits of your cancer. The following tests provide more information about the cancer to help your urologist Des Moines create the best treatment program for you.

PSA Level: This test measures the level of PSA, which is a biological marker, in your blood. PSA is a substance created by the prostate and is higher in men who have prostate cancer at the time of their diagnosis.

Gleason Score/Cancer Grade: This score provides information regarding how quickly the tumor is going to grow. It’s actually a description of the tumor based on how abnormal the tissue and cells appear under the microscope. Gleason Scores typically range from six to ten


The stage reveals the location and size of the tumor. These and other factors help your urologist Des Moines the stage of your prostate cancer and the risk group: low, medium/intermediate or high. It’s a belief that in more than half of men recently diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer, the cancer will not spread to other body parts.

Genomic Testing:  There are several new tests available today that allow us to go beyond the standard risk assessment acquired with the PSA and Gleason Score testing. These tests are particularly important when choosing a treatment option if you have been diagnosed with low risk prostate cancer because you might be a good candidate for Active Surveillance.

If you are diagnosed with high-risk prostate cancer, your urologist Des Moines will probably recommend an aggressive course of treatment so the disease does not spread throughout your body. 

These genomic tests look at the actual make up of the cancer cells to advise how the cancer will act, allowing your urologist to provide a more personalized risk assessment when recommending treatment options.

If you would like more information regarding prostate cancer or feel that you might be at risk don’t hesitate – call the office of urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar today to schedule a consultation.

According to urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar, recent research is indicating that diets rich in whole walnuts or walnut oil can actually slow down prostate cancer growth in mice. In addition, both walnuts and walnut oil have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels and increase sensitivity to insulin.

The walnut diet also decreased levels of the hormone IGF-1, which had been previously associated with both prostate and breast cancer.

For years, people have been on a crusade against fat, and that thinking is not always right. Your urologist Des Moines cites walnuts as a perfect example because while they are high in fat, their fat does not encourage prostate cancer growth. In fact, it does just the opposite.

A previous study found that walnuts reduced prostate tumor size in mice; however, there were questions about which parts of the nuts provided these benefits. It wasn’t clear if it was the meat, the oil or the omega-3 fatty acids of the walnuts. If it did turn out to be the omega-3 fats, the benefit might not be exclusive to walnuts. Since the fatty acid profile for the soybean oil used as a controlling factor was similar – but not identical – to walnuts, more research had to be conducted.

In the most recent study, researchers mixed fats with essentially the same fatty acid content in walnuts as their control diet. The mice were fed whole walnuts, walnut oil or the walnut-like fat for a period of 18 weeks. According to your urologist Des Moines, the results duplicated those from the previous study. While the walnuts and walnut oil reduced cholesterol and slowed prostate cancer growth, the walnut-like fat did not have these effects, confirming that other nut components caused the improvements – not the omega-3s.

While the study does not isolate which combination of compounds in walnuts slows cancer growth, it did exclude fiber, zinc, magnesium and selenium. In addition, the research showed that walnuts modulate several mechanisms associated with cancer growth.

If you would like more information about prostate cancer and your risk level, call the office of urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar today to schedule a consultation.


As most people know, a daily aspirin can help reduce the danger of a heart attack. According to urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar, your heart isn’t the only part of your body that may benefit from a dose of the drug: Aspirin significantly reduces men’s risk of prostate cancer, as outlined in a new study issued by Duke University.

The 6,400 men, none of whom had prostate cancer at the beginning of the research, were part of the trial, a study designed to test whether a drug for enlarged prostate – dutasteride – reduces the risk of prostate cancer.


Duke University researchers opted to ask a second question: How did the men’s intake of aspirin affect their odds of a prostate cancer diagnosis?

Their interest was generated because of a previously observed phenomenon: Taking anti-inflammatory meds like aspirin can lower men’s levels of prostate-specific antigen, which, if elevated, is considered a marker for prostate cancer.

Half of the men in the study were taking aspirin, another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), or both. The other half weren’t. Over the course of the study, which lasted four years, the men taking the aspirin fared better.

Taking aspirin and/or NSAIDs was associated with a 13 percent lower risk of developing prostate cancer. Even more promising according to your urologist Des Moines, is the fact that the OTC meds were linked to a 17 percent reduction in the odds of contracting aggressive prostate cancer.

Past research has indicated a similar link between aspirin and the prevention of other types of cancer. A 2010 study found that taking at least 75 milligrams of aspirin per day, over a period of five years, significantly reduced the risk of colon cancer.

Talk to your urologist Des Moines before adding aspirin to your medication regimen, especially if you’re already at high risk for prostate cancer. Risk factors include age, race/ethnicity, family history, obesity, and smoking.

Don’t hesitate – call the office of urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar today to schedule a consultation.

According to urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar, men who consume in excess of 10 portions of tomatoes per week have an 18% lower risk of developing prostate cancer.

To assess if following dietary and lifestyle recommendations reduces risk of prostate cancer, researchers examined the diets and lifestyle of over 1,800 men between the ages of 50 and 69 who had prostate cancer and compared them with some 12,000 cancer-free men.

This was the first study of its kind used in the development of a prostate cancer dietary index consisting of dietary components—selenium, calcium, and foods rich in lycopene—that have been associated with prostate cancer.

Your urologist Des Moines reported that research showed that men who had optimal intake of these three dietary components had a lower risk of prostate cancer.


What does the Study Suggest?

Tomatoes and tomato products, including tomato juice and baked beans, were shown to be most beneficial, resulting in an 18% reduction in risk found in men who consumed over 10 portions per week. It is believed that this reduction is linked to lycopene, an antioxidant that fights off toxins that can cause DNA and cell damage.

Although findings suggest that tomatoes may be important in prostate cancer prevention, further studies need to be conducted to confirm the findings, especially through human trials. Men should still eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, maintain a healthy weight, and stay active.

If you are interested in way to reduce your risk of prostate cancer, call the office of urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar today to schedule a consultation.

According to Urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar, new studies show that prostate cancer among young men has increased six-fold during the past 20-year period. Even scarier, the disease is spreading faster and proving to be deadlier in men under the age of 55 compared to men in their 70s and 80s.

The type of prostate cancer younger men are contracting seems to be more aggressive than the ‘typical’ prostate cancer, which often grows slowly and is typically not life-threatening.

Urologists aren’t really certain why cases of this type of prostate cancer are on the increase. According to your urologist Des Moines, one theory is that screening for prostate cancer has been improved, meaning that since more young men are getting screenings, more cancers are being detected at an earlier stage. But this new data also proposes that these screenings are not the reason for the increase in cancer cases, while at the same time, researchers aren’t sure what is.

The fact that prostate cancer is more aggressive in young men has experts puzzled too. The fact remains that these younger men, who account for 10 percent of all prostate cancer cases, can surely die from the disease if it’s not identified in its early stages.

This information contradicts what has been published in the press lately — that men no longer need to be concerned about prostate cancer. While many older men develop prostate cancer that’s not life-threatening, young men with an aggressive form of the disease need to have it diagnosed early so that your urologist Des Moines can offer interventions to save lives.

One thing is for sure – males with a family history of prostate cancer are at a much higher risk of contracting the disease themselves. Researchers say that these men are two to three times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and the risk is even greater for men who have had multiple relatives affected by the disease.

While the PSA tests aren’t perfect, they can still prove to be life-saving. It can still be a helpful test when it’s coupled with a rectal exam and with a skeptical and educated understanding.

Don’ take chances! If you are at risk for prostate cancer – regardless of your age – call the office of urologist Des Moines today to schedule a consultation!

According to urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar, when a man reaches the age of 40, his prostate starts to enlarge, resulting in a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). (The prostate is the walnut-sized organ located below the bladder and in front of the rectum.)

As a result of this condition, the tube that transports urine from the bladder is compressed, resulting in frequent urination during the day and night, incomplete emptying of the bladder, weak urine flow and sometimes urine leakage. These disorders can ultimately have a negative affect on an older person’s quality of life.

Studies show that about 45 % of middle-aged persons are being affected by these medical disorders at some point in their life. And by the age of 60, approximately 80 percent will experience some lower urinary-tract symptoms.

Early screening and detection by your urologist Des Moines is justified, including the digital rectal examination, which is performed to determine the size and weight of the patient’s prostate. Through this examination, your urologist Des Moines will be able to determine whether there are lumps and other abnormalities that will prompt further tests to determine any existing health problems, including prostate cancer.

The patient’s proactive role is vitally important in the prevention of early complications of prostate problems, so early screening by your urologist is vital. Medical management is the first-line therapy, and surgical intervention is the secondary option.

Urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar offers these suggestions for the proper care of your prostate:

  • Eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily;
  • Choose whole-grain instead of white when choosing bread, pasta and cereals;
  • Control your intake of red meat;
  • Pick healthier fats, such as olive oil, nuts and avocados;
  • Limit saturated fats from dairy and other animal products;
  • Avoid sugar-sweetened drinks such as sodas and most fruit juices;
  • Limit your salt intake by choosing foods that are lower in sodium;
  • Monitor portion sizes, eat slowly, and stop eating when you feel full;
  • Stay active through regular exercise.

Prostate health should be a medical concern that every aging man should be concerned with…so don’t take any chances. Call the office of urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar today to schedule a consultation.

Awareness of prostate cancer could save your life, and ignoring it definitely won’t make it go away. In fact, according to urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar, about 90 American men die every day from prostate cancer, which equates to 30,000 each year.

Prostate cancer is the most commonly identified cancer in males, with almost a quarter of a million diagnoses expected this year. There are 2.5 million people currently living with this disease, which is equal to the entire population of Chicago.

Urologist Des Moines urges men to face the possible existence of prostate cancer rather than having it sneak up unexpectedly. Prostate cancer typically has no obvious symptoms in its beginning stages, but if diagnosed early, patients have nearly a 100% chance of being alive 5 years later.

There are two easy ways your urologist Des Moines can check for early stage prostate cancer.

1.  He can draw blood and run a simple test to check for elevated levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA).

2.  He can perform a digital rectal exam (DRE).  Yes, your urologist will stick his finger up into your rectum because that’s the area where the prostate is located. It’s definitely not a fun exam and it’s true that it can be uncomfortable, but it definitely beats the prospect of undetected prostate cancer!

Neither test requires any form of medication or radiation entering your body.

Interestingly, the letters from the two different tests – PSA and DRE – can be combined to form the words SPARED, meaning you have the tests done, thereby increasing your chances of being spared, or increase the chances of a cancer SPREAD by not having the tests performed.

If either of these tests comes back irregular, your doctor will order further steps, and your chances of beating prostate cancer (if you actually have it) immediately get better. So it’s worth a little discomfort, don’t you think?


Treatment of Prostate Cancer

Referred to by many as robotic surgery for prostate cancer, da Vinci Prostatectomy is a robot-assisted, minimally invasive surgery that is quickly becoming the preferred treatment for removal of the prostate following an early diagnosis of prostate cancer.

In fact, research reveals that da Vinci Prostatectomy may be the most effective and least invasive prostate surgery performed today.

If you would like testing for prostate cancer, call the office of urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar today to schedule an appointment.

 A new study from Canada indicates that being circumcised may offer men a degree of protection from developing prostate cancer later in life.  According to Urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar, researchers suspect the connection may be the lower rate among circumcised men of sexually transmitted diseases (STD), which increases prostate cancer risk, but more study is needed to confirm that theory.

Based on interviews with more than 3,000 men, researchers found that those circumcised as infants were almost 15 percent less likely than uncircumcised males to develop prostate cancer. And the men who were  circumcised as adults were 45 percent less likely to develop the cancer than uncircumcised men.

The participants were all between 40 and 75 years old when they were recruited and almost 1,600 of them had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The other men did not have prostate cancer but were similar in health and age.

For the entire group, researchers found an 11 percent lower risk of having prostate cancer among circumcised men, but noted that it was not statistically important, indicating that it could have been due to chance.

Your urologist Des Moines reports that the National Cancer Institute estimates that almost three million men are living with prostate cancer in the United States, making it the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men.

About 80 percent of U.S. men born in the 1970s and 1980s were circumcised as babies, but the circumcision rate has been declining. Among males born in the U.S. in 1999, just over 62 percent were circumcised, and by 2010, the rate among newborns dropped below 55 percent.

Even though the study was small, researchers saw only a slightly reduced risk later in life among men who were circumcised as babies, but your urologist Des Moines feels that the data is one more thing to consider when studying prostate cancer.

It’s too early in the game to make it a public recommendation, but in the future it could be confirmed that it’s a good thing and may have an added protection from other diseases.

If you have any questions regarding prostate cancer and its causes and treatments, call the office of Urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar today to schedule an appointment.

According to urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar, a new report recognizes a group of Americans that is expected to grow by 30 percent over the next 10-year period – cancer survivors.

As of Jan. 1 of this year, there were over 14 million people alive in the United States who had been diagnosed with some type of cancer. By the year 2024, that figure is forecast to reach almost 19 million, according to a recent report by the American Cancer Society.

Fortunately, your urologist Des Moines explains that the increase in the number of cancer survivors is not a sign that cancer rates are rising; in fact, the rates have actually declined over the past 10-year period. But since the U.S. population is simultaneously aging and growing, the total number of cancer patients is certain to increase.

Today, over 60 percent of all cancer survivors have lived at least five years from the time when they were diagnosed, including the 15 percent of people who have lived at least 20 years. Many of these survivors have gone on to live long lives, with over 40 percent of them reaching the age of 70.

For men, the biggest group of cancer survivors this year is the 40+ percent who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer.  Your urologist Des Moines reports that hey are followed by:

  • 9 percent who were diagnosed with colorectal cancer;
  • 8 percent who were diagnosed with melanoma;
  • 7 percent who were diagnosed with bladder cancer.

These four types of cancers will continue to make up the four largest groups of male cancer survivors in 2024, the report authors predict.

According to your urologist Des Moines, the growing number of cancer survivors in the U.S. makes it even more important that we understand the unique medical and psychosocial needs of cancer survivors, as they face numerous, important obstacles created by a fractured health care system, poor integration of survivorship care, and financial and other barriers to quality care, particularly among the medically underserved.

If you or someone you know wants more information regarding any type of cancer, contact the office of urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar today!

Sexual relationships can take a hit after treatment for prostate cancer, but your urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar is sharing some tips on keeping intimacy alive.  It’s an issue often faced by a large percentage of the estimated 230,000 U.S. men who are diagnosed each year with prostate cancer – and their partners.

Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and hormone therapy can all create some sexual side effects. Surgery performed by your urologist Des Moines to remove prostate cancer is less likely to cause erectile dysfunction, but this may not be an option for everyone depending on the size and location of their tumor.

You have to give your body time to heal after surgery before you get too frustrated with a loss of function, as it can take a year or two for the nerves and blood vessels to heal completely.


Some important tips from your urologist Des Moines to consider if you are experiencing sexual side effects:

  • Ask your urologist what you can expect in the way of changes or problems with intimacy and create a plan to address your concerns.
  • Be open and honest with your feelings, concerns and needs. If you’re open about your feelings, you can work together as a couple to determine what is best for both of you.
  • Network with others who have experienced similar problems and feelings. Often a local prostate cancer support group can provide a great forum for support. Online forums and discussion groups are also a great way to get answers to your questions and get support.

You don’t have to face this alone.  Your urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar is always here to answer any questions you may have or address any concerns.  Diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer doesn’t have to mean the end of intimacy in the bedroom!


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