Bluewater Health Leading the Way in Prostate Health Locally

Monday, November 14, 2022 - 11:46am

SARNIA & PETROLIA – November 14, 2022 – Bluewater Health is making its mark as a leader in prostate health in the region. Currently known for being the only hospital in southwestern Ontario to offer a transperineal prostate biopsy, Bluewater Health often receives referrals from hospitals across the region to perform the innovative technique on patients.

The procedure, which helps to diagnose prostate cancer in patients, is known for being extremely safe, with little to no risk of sepsis occurring afterwards. Bluewater Health Urologists Dr. Alvaro Ramirez, Dr. Paul Martin and Dr. Dhiraj Dhanjani began offering ultrasound guided transperineal prostate biopsies two and a half years ago, and have since performed well over 500 procedures.

The move to offering this modern procedure came early in the pandemic as a strategy to maintain access to prostate cancer diagnostics while restrictions were in place.

“Previously, the majority of prostate biopsies were conducted transrectally. The main advantage of this new technique is that the risk of a serious life-threatening infection decreases significantly; approximately 0.1% compared to roughly 2-4% risk with the traditional transrectal biopsy,” says Dr. Alvaro Ramirez, Urologist, Medical Director, Surgical & Ambulatory Care. “We have also found that the transperineal approach has a higher rate of cancer detection among patients, as we are able to reach areas that are sometimes missed or harder to reach.”

During a transperineal approach, the urologist passes the biopsy needle through the perineal skin, reaches the prostate via the perineum with a dedicated biopsy needle device under local anesthetic or sedation. With improved and targeted use of local anesthesia, urologists can perform this procedure with minimal discomfort for patients in as little as 10-15 minutes.  

Tips for Prostate Health

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Canadian men, but this disease can be prevented with simple lifestyle changes and early detection. Here are some tips from Bluewater Health’s urologists for a healthier prostate:

  1. Get Screened: Prostate cancer can often be found early by testing for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood levels. Reach out to your primary care provider to book your screening.
  2. Eat Healthy: Leafy greens are full of vitamins and minerals that keep you – and your prostate – healthy. While filling your plate, remember to avoid charred meat, which can cause an increased risk of prostate cancer. And don’t forget, tomatoes are good for your prostate!
  3. Exercise Regularly: Exercise has a preventive effect on many conditions that impact prostate health. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day can have health benefits.
  4. Be Aware of Your Erection: Erectile dysfunction can be an early warning sign of heart disease. If you notice a change, contact your primary care provider.

Pints for Prostates Event

On Sunday November 27 from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Bluewater Health Foundation is hosting the annual Pints for Prostates event at Sports, located on London Rd. behind Refined Fool Brewing Co. The event, sponsored by Straight Edge Hair Designs and Fine Artscapes, will feature prizes, a 50/50 draw and a cornhole tournament. All proceeds will go to Bluewater Health’s Urology and Prostate Cancer Clinic.

“We are thrilled to be hosting this fun and informative event once again this year,” says Kathy Alexander, Executive Director, Bluewater Health Foundation. “We are lucky to have three Bluewater Health Urologists in attendance, and they will be available to answer any questions guests may have about prostate health. It’s a great opportunity to open up more discussion about men’s health and we are incredibly thankful for their community involvement and engagement.”

To register your team of four in the cornhole tournament, contact Adelle Stewardson at AStewardson@bluewaterhealth.ca. Cost is $40 per team.

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