Despite countless campaigns to convince adult men to schedule and always attend urologist appointments in order to prevent serious illnesses, many experts also emphasize the importance of convincing young people to start their visits to the urologist at an earlier age aiming at diagnosing and begin to treat, as quickly as possible, several health problems that become more difficult to medicate once the patient gets older.
According to Dr. Fábio ATZ, the urologist is still seen as the doctor who attends the older man and takes care of problems related to the prostate. However, many diseases can arise in adolescence, and medical monitoring is necessary, especially when the boy enters puberty, before starting sexual life and after having already started.
He says that although it is not common, preadolescents should be advised and accompanied by their parents in consultations, which can be important for health in early adulthood.
“Stimulating the patient in the culture of prevention and not only seeking help when the disease is installed is the main objective. There are the causes of acquired problems, but also often congenital (born with changes) that may go unnoticed during childhood. Sexuality is also an important factor, as adolescents are not always free to exchange information with parents, friends or teachers “, he says.
The result of a survey released by the Brazilian Society of Urology, carried out with 3,305 adolescents between 13 and 17 years old, pointed out that urology is one of the specialties least sought after by boys. While 42.1% of young women in the same age group attend the gynecologist, only 3.5% of adolescents go to a doctor specializing in the male genital apparatus.
“I don’t believe in machismo, I understand that in this age group, illnesses are not expected to appear and, therefore, people do not realize the need to seek medical assistance”, he explains.
Consultations already in adolescence can lead to the discovery and treatment earlier and earlier of numerous problems ranging from psychogenic order to other physical occurrences. Fábio says that up to 12 years of age, the monitoring must be done by the pediatrician and after 13 years old, there must already be specialized monitoring.
“[Podem se identificar] Behavioral disorders such as diet, physical activity and which will cause diseases such as sexually transmitted diseases, formation of urinary stones, urinary infections, infertility and even tumors that can occur with the onset of puberty (testicular tumor, for example) “, he explains.
Among the most common urological diseases are varicocele (dilation of testicular veins that can lead to infertility), testicular tumors, inflammation of the penis glans, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
The performance of the urologist, however, goes beyond the scope of disease treatment. Like the role played by the gynecologist with women, the urology specialist is also able to guide them in relation to the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and to provide clarifications on the bodily changes typical of this age group. The first consultations can even be made with the parents.
“This is a strategy, but the most important thing would be for teenagers to have the freedom and a good family relationship that allow them to express their feelings and anxieties and thus parents can indicate the search for the doctor”, he concludes.