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Dr. Charles Modlin, is a kidney transplant surgeon, a board-certified urologist, and the founder and director of the Cleveland Clinic Minority Men’s Health Center (MMHC). Modlin is also Executive Director for Minority Health at the Cleveland Clinic. In 2011, he was selected by The Atlanta Post as one of the Top 21 Black Doctors in America.

A graduate of Northwestern University in 1983  with a degre in Chemistry and Northwestern University Medical School in Modlin is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha National Medical Honor Society. He completed a six-year residency in urological surgery at New York University in 1993, a three-year fellowship in kidney transplantation in 1996 (Cleveland Clinic), then joined the Cleveland Clinic Staff.

He is the sole African-American transplant surgeon in Ohio and one of only roughly 20 African-American transplant surgeons in the U.S. Modlin pays it forward as  an associate professor of surgery at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and is an advisor and lecturer at Northwestern University Medical School and Northwestern University.

He has authored several publications and chapters on kidney transplantation, urologic surgery and health disparities. In 2003, Dr. Modlin established a dedicated Cleveland Clinic Minority Men’s Health Center to address the specific healthcare needs of minority men. The center provides patient care, education, outreach, and conducts research into elimination of healthcare disparities and provides mentorship to students. 

Modlin was appointed to Ohio Governor Strickland’s and Kasich’s Commissions on African-American Males and the Ohio Commission on Minority Health. He chairs the health committees of the Cleveland NAACP and the Cleveland 100 Black Men. 

For those efforts, Modlin has received many honors and awards – Northwestern University Medical School Inaugural Daniel Hale Williams Award for Meritorious Service to Underserved Communities, 2007 Greater Cleveland Partnership MLK Community Service Award, Northwestern University Dean’s Alumni Medal Award, Ohio Commission on Minority Health Leadership Award, and the  National Technical Association Physician of the Year.

question for the doctor..my husband has night sweat Where he changes

shirts sometimes 2 to 3 times night any suggestions:

Answer: night sweats could be related to a number of things, including your husband developing a reduced or lower serum testosterone level–male hormone level. This often happens with aging and is termed hypogonadism. He should have a general medical evaluation plus have a total and free testosterone blood test drawn. It would be important also to exclude an infectious etiology such as Tuberculosis which sometimes presents with nightsweats.

What’s the age should we start going to the Urologist?

African American males should start going to a urologist to screen for prostate cancer starting at the age of 40 years old. However, they should go to a urologist at earlier ages if they develop urinary voiding difficulties or erectile dysfunction or experience or observe blood in the urine, urinary tract infection, or other conditions of the urinary tract, genitalia or reproductive system.

What are the symptoms of a urinary tract infections?

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are more uncommon in men than woman. Presenting signs are often frequency of urination, dsyuria (burning with urination) or blood in the urine. Blood in the urine and urinary frequency however may signify other serious urological conditions and therefore it is imperative that men with any of these conditions see a urologist.

If you’re black with a family history of prostate should you go earlier than 40? If so how early?

Current recommendations are to start screening for prostate cancer at the age of 40 for black men. However, black men with a strong family history of prostate cancer can start screening even at earlier ages in consultation with a urologist and after discussing with the urologist the risks and benefits of screening for prostate cancer. It is never too early to become educated regarding risk factors and methods of screening for prostate cancer.

What’s the best test for prostate cancer?

The best treatments for prostate cancer vary according to the “stage” of the cancer, “grade” of the cancer and age and overall medical condition of the patient. Some prostate cancers which are of low grade may not require treatment at all and may be amenable to surveillance (observation). However, many prostate cancers are more aggressive and should be treated with surgery, radiation, cryotherapy (freezing) or combination therapy. A urologist can consult with the patient to determine the best route of definitive treatment for the patient.

Where would one find a black doctor? Is there a site or some sort of directory that a person can look one up?

I am compiling a directory of Black Urologists. Please feel free to contact my office at Cleveland Clinic at 216-445-7550 or email me at ModlinC@ccf.org<mailto:ModlinC@ccf.org>. Give me your location and email/phone number and I will provide you with information.

My husband had prostrate cancer he had radiation and now has lots of side effects like bleeding.

Yes, Hematuria (bleeding in the urine) can be a side-effect of radiation for prostate cancer. It can be originating from the prostate or bladder. However, blood in the urine should be thoroughly evaluated by a urologist and not ignored by the patient because it could signify a serious urological condition such as bladder cancer or kidney cancer.

You mention that males should start screening at the age of 40. If you have a family history of prostate cancer should you start screening earlier?

An African American male with a family history of prostate cancer can begin screening for prostate cancer earlier than age 40; however, the American Urological Association believes that age 40 in black men is the age at which screenings should start. This age determination is based upon the observed increased incidence rates of AA males developing prostate cancer starting at the age of 40.

Does regular herbal colon cleansing help with overall men’s health

There is debate over the value of colon cleansing. One should consult with a GI physician or colorectal surgeon and undergo a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer at the age of 50 or even earlier if there is a family history of prostate cancer.

How often does an elderly man need to have a Colonoscopy after the age 75? Is it every 10 years or less? Asking on the behalf of my father. 

The recommended frequency of screening Colonoscopy depends upon one’s personal medical history and symptomatology. For example, if one has had a history of colon cancer or colon polyps or even a strong family history of colon cancer then screening recommendations may be a frequent as every 3-5 years. Frequency of screening recommendations need to be determined by the GI physician in consultation with the individual patient because recommendations vary, even in patients over the age of 75.

My husband PSA was elevated. He had a ultrasound it showed a darkspot. He is having a bx tomorrow should I be worried it can be cancer?

He is doing the right thing by having a prostate biopsy if his PSA is elevated. An elevated PSA does not necessarily mean that he does have prostate cancer. It could be elevated due to just being enlarged. Other conditions such as prostate infection (prostatitis) can increase the PSA as well as recent colonoscopy or sexual activity. Overall, the rate of positive prostate cancer on biopsies is about 30-40%.

My doctor told me that the PSA test doesn’t actually determine whether you have cancer just higher levels of hormone/chemical which may or may notindicate prostate cancer or just several other common causes if the higher levels,. So is the test effective or not? Who is telling the truth about the test!?

Your doctor is correct that the PSA blood test is not by itself diagnostic of prostate cancer; however, the PSA blood test combined with the Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) is the best screening test clinically available to men. If the PSA test is elevated then the only way to definitively diagnose prostate cancer is by the Urologist conducting a prostate biopsy.

When you say that African American men should get more vitamin D areyou referring to D3? Also, what is you recommended daily amount for a 49 year old?

Vitamin D deficiency is believed to be a potential contributing factor to higher rates of prostate cancer in men of color–however, more research is needed to conclusively say this. The amount of supplementation recommended depends greatly in different individuals depending upon their diets, whether they have deficiencies also in absorption due to lactose intollerance or inflammatory bowel conditions or if they have kidney disease or kidney failure. It is important to have your doctor check your vitamin D level to determine they amount and type of supplementation you might require.

Once you detect some kidney failure. Is it treatable, before you start dialysis?

Yes, it is very important to detect kidney disease in early stages so that methods can be taken to prevent it from progressing to advanced stages or kidney failure (end-stage-renal disease). Control of blood pressure, diabetes and weight can go a long way to reduce the incidence of developing kidney disease or having kidney disease progress.

I think the doctor stated that blood test ordered by a doctor can detect problems with prostate. Am I correct?

Yes, you are correct. The blood test called the PSA–prostate specific antigen–is a screening blood test used by physicians and urologists to screen men for prostate cancer. Urologists are doctors who are specialized in the accurate interpretation of PSA blood levels which in fact vary according to the RACE and AGE of the individual patient. Different recommendations exists for men based upon their race as to when they should begin screening for prostate cancer and age at which PSA screening may no longer be recommended. Men should consult with a urologist regarding interpretation of their own PSA results.

My brother died of prostate cancer last September. I talked to my son about this but at 43 he’s too young to be tested. To date no other males in our family has been affected.

Given your family history of prostate cancer regardless of race, your son at the age of 43 is NOT too young to begin screening for prostate cancer. The fact that your father died of prostate cancer is an indication enough for your son to start screening for prostate cancer at the age of 40.

I’m 26 and I frequently have to use the bathroom, when I get the feeling of having to go its intense and I’ve lost control sometimes and I’ve lost control while I sleep , it started about a month and a half ago, what do you think the issue is?

Even though you are young, your symptoms may be a result of having an enlarged prostate or may be related to a bladder storage problem or even a kidney problem. You should definitely consult with a urologist and undergo a complete urological evaluation. In addition you should undergo an evaluation with a primary care provider. Make sure the doctor checks your urine for the presence of blood, protein and infection. The urologist will also check how adequately you empty your bladder.

What about black man with a strong history of prostate cancer in their family what age they start getting screened?

Please begin screening for prostate cancer at the age of 40 but one can start educating oneself about screening for prostate cancer even prior to the age of 40.

Has there been any study done on Allergies affecting PSA levels? I have noticed that my PSA levels are higher in colder months and my body feels different.

Conditions causing inflammation of the prostate can elevated PSA blood levels. More research is needed to determine the correlation between allergies and PSA blood levels; however, I would recommend you consult with a urologist who can help you interpret your PSA laboratory results. The urologist can review the series of PSA values you have had in the past.

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