Male-centered clinics seek to lure reluctant patients: MEN
Research shows that when it comes to doctors, most men are quick to dodge any encounter. Three Omaha-area clinics are hoping to change that tendency by focusing on treatments and services related to men’s health.
Specialty clinics like NuMale, a Wisconsin-based company that recently opened an Omaha location near Westroads, are designed to offer men privacy and confidentiality. NuMale has no waiting room; as soon as a patient walks in the door, he is taken to a private exam room. The approach allows men to feel more comfortable talking about their health needs, said Justin Pulliam, vice president of NuMale.
Optima Medical Hormone Replacement, a clinic that offers hormone treatments for both men and women, and the Urology Health Center, which focuses on prostate problems among other men’s health issues, are two more clinics that offer services attuned to men’s health needs. The clinics aim to create a space for men to receive treatments, from the life-prolonging to the life-enhancing.
About 33 million men in America suffer from erectile dysfunction, or the inability to obtain and maintain an erection for a period of time long enough for intercourse. The problem tends to affect men over the age of 50, but doctors are starting to see it in younger men as a result of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes, according to NuMale chief medical officer, Christopher Asandra, M.D.
“It’s a very personal and emotional issue, but it affects quite a few people in the U.S. alone,” Asandra said. “Men definitely shouldn’t feel like they are singled out or something is wrong with them.”
NuMale takes a therapeutic approach to male sexual health and overall wellness. Every NuMale client receives a comprehensive, confidential examination and consultation to determine the most ideal, tailored treatment based on the individual’s specific situation, needs, and medical history. To treat erectile dysfunction, NuMale uses a specialized medication that differs from the usual pills because it therapeutically rehabilitates the penile tissue. The medication increases blood flow to the penis, exercises the organ and offers longer-term results, without the negative side effects of pills.
With erectile dysfunction a thing of the past, men feel more confident and they are able to bring back the intimacy in their relationships.
“We get guys that thank us for restoring their manhood,” Pulliam said. “We get a lot of people that tell us we saved their marriage.”
At around the age of 30, men start losing 1-2 percent of the hormone testosterone each year. That low testosterone can produce low libido, decreased energy, extra weight around the midsection, joint pain, decreased muscle mass and irritability.
But many men may not realize that the cause of those symptoms is hormonal. Instead, men often blame their lack of energy on busy or stressful lifestyles, explained Joleen Lake, certified family nurse practitioner and owner of Optima Medical Hormone Replacement.
Hormone replacement therapy allows men to regain that lost energy. Optima’s bio-identical hormone replacement therapy uses non-synthetic, plant-based hormones delivered by pellet implant. “The hormones are identical biologically to human hormones and bring testosterone up to an optimal level,” said Lake.
NuMale also offers bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. Asandra said the treatment quickly shows effects. “We see change within the first couple weeks,” he said.
After a month, “you feel better and your energy is better,” Lake said. “You even feel more motivation. You feel like working out, and you get more results.”
Lake suggests that men in their 40s or older should be tested for low testosterone. Testing involves a simple blood test. After starting on the treatment, Lake follows up with patients to ensure their testosterone levels are optimal.
For men who are hesitant, Lake encourages them to consider some of the other benefits of replacement therapy, including prevention of cardiovascular problems, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s. “People don’t have to feel miserable; low testosterone can be helped very easily and naturally,” she added.
One out of six men will get prostate cancer in his lifetime, making prostate the most common type of cancer diagnosed in men living in the United States.
Fortunately, most men who have the disease won’t die from it. According to the National Cancer Institute, the five-year relative survival for cancer that is still confined to the prostate is nearly 100 percent.
The Urology Health Center in Fremont specializes in the management and treatment of prostate cancer. Treatment is aimed at achieving a cure while causing minimal side effects, said Ansar Khan, M.D., FACS.
Prostate cancer is the type of cancer that forms in the tissues of the prostate — a small gland in the male reproductive system. The earlier prostate cancer is detected, the more likely it can be cured.
“Since prostate cancer is a slow growing cancer, and causes no symptoms until the disease is advanced, it is important to detect it in the early stage when the cancer is confined to the prostate,” Khan explained.
The Urology Health Center offers targeted therapy of prostate cancer when it’s in the early stages. When the removal of the prostate is required, the clinic offers robot-assisted, minimally invasive surgery with a da Vinci prostatectomy.
When the cancer is advanced, the clinic provides the latest treatment with the newest drugs, including immunotherapy.
Not everyone may need treatment. “Many men with slow-growing cancers just need close surveillance,” Khan said.
The risk of prostate cancer increases as men get older. A family history of prostate cancer, a diet high in red meat or high-fat dairy products, and obesity are other risk factors. In addition, African-American men are more likely to get prostate cancer.
Khan recommends that men at higher risk for prostate cancer receive regular screenings beginning at age 40. Men with an average risk of prostate cancer should discuss screening risks and benefits with their doctors starting at age 50, the American Cancer Society recommends.
Men can take steps to prevent cancer by improving their diet and lifestyle. Eating a high-fiber diet rich in high-quality carbs is helpful, Khan said. Decreasing meat and alcohol consumption, while increasing vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale can also have preventative effects. “Berries, tomatoes, green tea and spices such as turmeric are also believed to be protective,” added Khan.
Men’s health problems are a significant focus of management and treatment at the Urology Health Center. In addition to prostate cancer, the health center addresses health problems including low testosterone, erectile dysfunction and prostate issues.
Ansar Khan, M.D., FACS with
Urology Health Center
2735 N. Clarkson St., Fremont
Joleen Lake with Optima Medical Hormone Replacement
11912 Elm Street #22
NuMale Medical Center
444 Regency Parkway Drive #204