Urology FAQs

What is the difference between a urologist and a nephrologist?
A Nephrologist is a specialist physician who works in treating problems of kidney function (blood toxins clearance). A Urologist is a surgical specialist who treats problems of the urinary tract in both sexes and male genital problems (stones, tumors, urinary and sexual problems, incontinence, etc.).

What is a benign and a malignant tumour?
A tumour is an enlargement of an organ or area, if palpable it is also called mass or tumour. If it is small it can be described as a nodule. Benign tumours are growths of cells in that do not tend to infiltrate other organs or produce distant spread (metastasis). Cancers are also known as malignant tumours, they are growths of poorly differentiated and uncontrolled cells. Unlike benign tumours they tend to infiltrate adjacent structures and spread to other organs in deposits called metastases. Both local extension and metastasis can damage vital structures and cause death.

Why smoking causes cancer?
The respiratory system has evolved to absorb oxygen and eliminate carbon dioxide. This is done in the air. Any other substance in the lungs is potentially harmful. Carcinogenic chemicals in smoke attack cells of the bronchi and lungs and transform them into cancer cells. This is just the beginning, after absorption, the blood transports these substances to various organs, which in turn undergo changes to develop cancer in those sites. It is important to note that not only smoking causes cancer, breathing air in the same room or area where there is smoke is equally lethal. This is known as passive smoking or second hand smoking. It is very sad to see children who have been harmed in this way (in many cases the “responsible” adults are aware of the problem).

What is the difference between sexuality, infertility and impotence?
Sexuality is the study of activities related to sex, from several points of view, including psychological and physical. Infertility is the inability to reproduce, which may be related to sexual problems or not. Impotence is an outdated term and refers to erectile dysfunction that is the difficulty in maintaining a normal erection.

Have venereal diseases disappeared?
Sexually transmitted infections, once known as venereal have been increasing for more than ten years. The explanation is simple and is related to human perception of risk. Before the pandemic of HIV / AIDS in the eighties, venereal diseases were common and relatively easy to treat. HIV / AIDS clearly showed our fragility as a species, as the results of the pandemic could have been much worse with minor variations of the characteristics of the virus. Against this background, and with the help of the information disclosed, the population became aware of the vital need for sexual protection. Consequently the rates of all sexually transmitted diseases, which basically share the same mode of transmission, decreased. This change in prevalence and the appearance of relatively effective drugs to treat HIV have generated a perception of lower risk of transmission and death from sexually transmitted diseases. For over a decade this illusion has fuelled an increase in the rate of all sexually transmitted diseases. This increase is clearly related to the lack of condom use.

What can I expect from my urologist?
You will be listened to. You should develop an understanding of your condition and the possible alternatives to manage it. A specialist must have multidisciplinary expertise to provide a balanced advice, taking into account patient preferences and associated problems.