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Incontinence Support Blog

Even “The Greatest” Suffer from Incontinence

Posted by Andy Orrell

Jun 28, 2016 10:02:08 AM

Many times during your individual journey in dealing with incontinence, you might feel like you’re alone. Luckily, that isn’t the case. Currently, there are over 25 million Americans who experience some form of incontinence. This condition is much more common than you would think. Every day, thousands of people are becoming aware of their incontinence and of the best methods to deal with it. Among these men there are many celebrities who have opened up about facing their urinary challenges to let others know that even “The Greatest” suffer from incontinence.

Recently passing away, Muhammad Ali is widely considered the best pound for pound boxer of all time. Later in life, during his fight with Parkinson’s disease, Ali suffered from incontinence. On his condition, Ali stated, “Now the things that once were so effortless – simple things like talking or controlling when I go – are more difficult. But I get up every day and try to live life to the fullest because each day is a gift from God.”

Stephen King is famous for his prolific number of hit novels, which include popular titles such as The Stand, Carrie, and The Shining. King had a bladder cancer scare during which he developed frequent urination. When the issue first occurred, the author believed that it was going to be bladder cancer and that he was done for. He soon discovered that he had a simple urinary tract infection. Though his treatment was totally effective, King keeps incontinence collection products at his bedside, saying, “You never know when you’re going to need these at my age.”

Famous for starring in several successful box-office hits, including Star Wars, Pulp Fiction, and The Avengers, Samuel L. Jackson developed a loss of bladder control in his late 40s. Initially he was embarrassed, but was soon after quoted saying, “I realized that this was a problem that millions of Americans deal with every day.” The actor soon invested in incontinence collection devices, wearing them often while working on movie sets.

As starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, Tony Romo has been a Pro Bowl level talent who is much loved by the fans. While preparing for the 2009 NFL season, Romo developed a serious bladder infection. The infection resulted in the athlete being diagnosed with overactive bladder (OAB). To stay on the field, Romo wears incontinence collection devices during all practices.

Unfortunately, much like many of our customers, these celebrities have probably resorted to using unsanitary adult diapers or dangerous condom catheters. For ease of use and the freedom it provides, we of course suggest Men’s Liberty as the healthy alternative. BioDerm provides an excellent training program for application and use of the product. Another benefit is that Medicare helps pay for the Men’s Liberty external catheters; Medicare does not pay for diapers or absorbents that you purchase from your local drugstore.

Call our care team today at 1 800 814 3174. They are here to help you.

Topics: Interesting Articles

Men's Liberty's Big Questions: Why Does Running Water Make You Need to Pee?

Posted by Mens Liberty

Jan 26, 2016 10:00:00 AM

What’s worse than needing a pee when you can’t get to a toilet? The sound of running water, that’s what. Be it from a tap or the rain outside, the soft trickle-trickle noise can seem like it’s mocking your bladder. Quite why the sound makes us even more desperate to pee is uncertain, but we can filter it down to a couple of likely reasons.


This week's blog comes to us from Michael McKenna at AskAGuru.com - a great site that tackles some of the biggest and oddest science lifestyle questions on the web.

When you or I take the time to relieve ourselves, urine from our full bladder flows out through a narrow tube called the urethra. This stream is controlled by two sets of sphincters – rings of muscle – that can clamp down on the tube like taps. The first (internal) sphincter is at the top of the urethra, next to the bladder, and is controlled automatically by our nervous system. When our bladder is full, a message is sent to the internal sphincter, telling it to relax and open the floodgates. But to stop us wetting our seats on the bus, the second (external) sphincter is under our conscious control, allowing us to keep the tide at bay, overriding the body’s demand to urinate willy-nilly.

The part of our nervous system that automatically controls the internal sphincter is called the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). The PNS tends to be most active at times of calm and rest, when it encourages the first tap (internal sphincter) to open. It is probable, therefore, that the calming sounds of running water relaxes us enough to cause the PNS to send more messages to the internal sphincter, telling it to be opened wide. It’s worth knowing that opposite to the PNS is the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). This separate nervous control system is behind the so-called ‘fight or flight’ response, when our heart rate increases, our skin goes pale and we get goose bumps in response to fear. It affects the contraction of the internal sphincter, telling it to stay shut – perfect for those moments when you have to run for the train (or when a sabre-tooth cat is nearby).

The second possible explanation for why running water sound makes us want to pee will be familiar to anyone who has heard of Pavlov’s dogs. In the 1890s, a Russian psychiatrist called Ivan Pavlov carried out famous experiments with dogs, showing how animals’ bodies unconsciously learn to anticipate something important. In his experiment, Pavlov rang a bell just before feeding his dogs some meat powder (I bet you’re drooling just thinking of it). He observed that, after repeating the ring-food routine, the dogs would begin to salivate as soon as the bell rang – even if he didn’t bring any food. The dogs had learned an automatic response, associating the sound of a bell with the arrival of food. (This is called ‘classical conditioning’.) In much the same way, we learn, through our experience, to associate the sound of water with urination and so, like a dog thinking of a bone, we find it difficult to think of little else when we hear that trickle.

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Topics: urinary management, Interesting Articles, incontinence

The Link Between Prostate Heath and Football

Posted by Mens Liberty

Sep 14, 2015 1:00:00 PM

A recent survey found nearly 75 percent of men watch professional football at least once a week, but only about half could remember their last trip to the doctor.

September is the first full month of football season, but did you know it’s also National Prostate Health Month?

So we are urging all men to use the kickoff of football season this year to kick off a new annual routine, Get in touch with your doctor and speak to them about prostate screening exams.

Not everyone is going to need a prostate exam immediately; however, beginning at age 40 all men should starting talking to their doctor about the benefits and limitations of prostate screening.

To make sure you have a winning approach to your prostate health, here are a few tips from Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt, Co-Director of The PUR Clinic - Personalized Urology & Robotics - at South Lake Hospital, in affiliation with Orlando Health:

Play an active role - Prostate cancer is the number one most common cancer in men. Ignoring your health is like choosing to remain on the sidelines and puts you in an un-winnable situation.

Huddle with your coach - If you’re the quarterback of your health, your doctor is the coach. You should meet and strategize often, yet a recent study showed one in eight men went an entire year without going to the doctor once.

Have a game plan - When prostate cancer is caught in its earliest stages, the 5 year survival rate is nearly 100 percent. When it comes to prostate health and screenings, there can be some confusion and it helps to develop a game plan. Know your family history and understand your risks.

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Topics: Interesting Articles

Along The Learning Curve

Posted by Sam Turner

May 6, 2015 1:00:00 PM

If you haven’t viewed the Men’s Liberty’s video blogs, you don’t know what you are missing. In my case, I thought I knew everything after the first attachment of Men’s Liberty. What’s to learn? The directions are on the package, right? Why would I need information such as: the importance of drinking lots of water, or patient satisfaction? There are over fifty video blogs covering all kinds of questions that you might not have even considered. Wendy calls it the learning curve. When I started using Men’s Liberty, I confess, I didn’t read the directions.

Consider the type of shower soap. The directions suggest that I use a non-oil base soap. Did I follow the directions? No. I already told you about losing my Men's Liberty bag next to the fresh blueberries. But I’m not that fast on the learning curve. Sometimes, I make the same mistake twice, just to be sure it’s wrong.

Two days later, while standing in the check-in line at my doctor’s office in a crowded waiting room, I felt the unit slipping down my pant leg. I knew what was happening and (casually) reached down, caught the bag as it was sliding out the cuff and placed it in my pocket. I used the restroom to drain and clean the unit, put on an emergency absorbent and placed the unit in my pocket. Since I was visiting my primary care doctor, I figured I’d demonstrate.

“How does it work, Sam?”

“It works great as long as I follow directions. I need to use non-oil based soap.”

I returned home and watched the first video several times to be sure I understood how to attach the unit. In the process, I discovered the video blogs. Do you know the answer to the five myths about urinary incontinenece? Treat yourself to an “Ah-Ha” experience and start your journey along Wendy’s learning curve.

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Topics: Interesting Articles

Overcoming Writer's Block

Posted by Mens Liberty

Dec 2, 2014 1:00:00 PM

As I sat staring at my computer screen with a blank look on my face and an even more blank idea of what to write this month a message popped up on my Facebook page...

Every once and a while I get an email or a Facebook message from a reader who I have never met. Sometimes it's a family member of someone with a spinal cord injury. Sometimes a friend... usually it's a fellow SCI brother or sister slugging it out day after day who is writing to ask a question or say thank you for the encouragement or just to say hello. Each story is unique, but strangely similar. If it's a woman usually an automotive disaster of some kind. If it's a man generally diving or some other reckless stunt involving a bike or skis. I never cease to be deeply touched by the subtle under-current of pain and frustration that is glossed over by a bit of dark humor and an intense hope that science will make a breakthrough sooner rather than later. It often feels like looking in the mirror as I try to encourage and support as much as I can. It always leaves me thinking and pondering afterwards.

One of the goals of this blog has been to educate and communicate to those living a normal life just how much of a life-altering and potentially life-threatening situation living with a spinal cord injury is. After all, we look fine. We're just like everybody else, only sitting, right? We want to walk. We're not your hero or your inspiration. When people tell me my story inspires them I want to ask "What part and why?" I'm not brave. I'm not strong. I'm human like everyone else and I want to do more than just survive. I want to change the world. I want to walk.

So last night while I sat trying to figure out what I wanted to say a message from one of my readers came down through cyberspace. Within a few minutes I was on the phone with "Mary", a dear woman in her fifties who while traveling in a foreign country was seriously injured in a car accident. She, like the others, is waiting, hoping, trying to stay positive and make the most of the situation. She cannot continue physical therapy because insurance cut the funding. This is not unusual. The cold New York weather soaks into her bones causing aching and loss of sleep. Yet she smiles. She has got herself back to work part-time. She gets up each day and spends time with her three daughters and their friends. "They're so good for me..." she says with a slight waiver of emotion in her voice. She is fighting and knows I know she need not state the obvious. So instead we make a joke about the absurdity of it all and share a laugh. We are waiting. Waiting, watching and hoping.

This holiday season be thankful. Be thankful, but be mindful. Be mindful of the Marys of the world you may know. Be mindful that groups like The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, the University of Louisville, Neuro Recovery Technologies and many more need your help. The sooner they raise the money they need, the sooner breakthrough products like the Epidural Stimulator can be mounted on every damaged spine around the world.

Now THAT is something to get inspired about. God bless you Mary.

Thanks for reading.

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Topics: Interesting Articles

Understanding Your Health Insurance Coverage

Posted by Mens Liberty

Nov 20, 2014 3:00:00 PM

#1 Rule for Health Insurance Open Enrollment: Understand Your Coverage

We’re in the thick of open enrollment, the time of year to focus on renewing or selecting new healthcare (and prescription) insurance, plus making the most of our current insurance benefits. In both cases, the first rule is to understand exactly what your insurance covers.

Maximize your current coverage now

If you’ve met your deductible, the remainder of 2014 is an ideal time for elective procedures, surgeries, appointments, etc. that your current insurance covers. That is why this time of year is exceptionally busy period for healthcare providers. Also, don’t forget that your “well visit” is fully covered by Medicare (with no out-of-pocket expenses) and most other insurance, so make sure to take advantage of this once-a-year opportunity by calling your healthcare provider immediately.

Insurance selection tips

While it’s always nice to get a head start in October to compare your current coverage with other options, there’s still time to do some research. Insurance is somewhat of a gamble for you and your insurance provider. You’re paying a set amount up front, trying to “hedge your bets” that your plan that will provide all the coverage you need; but the insurance company is betting that you will need less coverage than you’re paying for.

It’s especially important to understand what Medicare does and does not cover. If you need certain services that aren’t 100% covered under Medicare Part A or Part B, you’ll most likely have to pay for part of them yourself unless you are enrolled in a:

  • Medi-gap (secondary) plan
  • Medicare Advantage plan
  • Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan

Keep in mind that:

  • Even if Medicare Part A or Part B covers a service or item, you generally have to pay deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. In general Medicare covers 80% of the expense of a covered service – so you still have to pay the other 20% which can really add up!
  • Since Medicare Advantage plans do not necessarily provide coverage equal to Medicare, they may not be right for you if you require a surgery or procedure or have a condition (diabetes, urinary incontinence, etc.) that requires ongoing therapy, treatment with a prescription or supplies.medicare-logo-2 Before choosing any Advantage plan be sure to read all the exclusions in your contract. Don’t be blinded by advertisements offering $0 co-pays. If it sounds too good to be true – it probably is!

Coverage for urinary incontinence supplies

Medicare Part B covers services or supplies for diagnosing or treating medical conditions. The one-a-day gold standard in treating male urinary incontinence, Men’s Liberty external collection device, is covered. http://blog.mensliberty.com/get-Mens-Liberty

Absorbents (pads and adult diapers) are not covered by Medicare or most private insurances. Condom catheters are covered, but regular use can lead to infection and skin breakdown, often entailing additional medical treatment and hospitalization and greater cost to patients.

Take Action Now During Open Enrollment – and follow these simple guidelines to get the most out of your insurance coverage!

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Topics: Interesting Articles

Step into the Marvel Universe

Posted by Mens Liberty

Oct 2, 2014 12:30:00 PM

Every so often, a technological innovation so out of the ordinary is unveiled, causing the entirety of the Google universe to back away from their keyboard and double-take. This is exactly what happened in February when President Obama announced that the U.S. government is “building Ironman.” For many years the military along with private-sector partners have been working towards making the tactical advantage cut straight from the pages of Marvel, a reality. In June, prototype designs were shown to military commanders for the first time.

Much has been speculated about the so called Ironman suit, but little is actually known among the public. Tony Stark references aside, what we do know (or think we know) is that in addition to teaming up with Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Boeing, the TALOS project and it’s 10 million dollar a year budget (the official name for the Ironman project, standing for Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit) now involves Underarmour and Nike in some capacity. The suit’s intended use is as a combat edge for troops, however, mystery surrounds its’ functionality.

The most pressing question the public has for the TALOS project is will it feature an artificial exoskeleton or will it be more of a light weight enhanced uniform?

Our guess is as good as the next, but some of the imagined specifics of the suit are straight out of a Sci-Fi movie. For a light-weight suit, it is assumed night vision and increased protection would be included. Interestingly, MIT is currently developing liquid armor said to be capable of keeping the wearer safer when under gunfire, by transforming from a liquid to a solid in milliseconds with the application of a magnetic field or electrical current.

Given the length of time the Military has been working towards developing robotic exoskeletons, it would not come as a shock if the suit incorporated this technology. Robotic exoskeletons have been of interest to the Military since the 1960’s when Neil Mizen developed the man amplifier. An artificial exoskeleton could potentially enable a solider to have the ability to carry a tremendous surplus of weight, as well as gain added mobility and agility. Navy Admiral William McRaven has said "That suit, if done correctly, will yield a revolutionary improvement in survivability and capability for special operators.”

The inclusion of a wearable computer, similar to Google Glass is widely considered a given. This tech would be incredibly advantageous to troops engaged in combat. Computers embedded in the suit could help a solider aim their weapon, increasing the ability to shoot around corners. Furthermore improved situational awareness, regulated body temperature, deliverable oxygen in the event of blood loss, are just a few of the reasons why this suit is so highly anticipated.

Todd Lovell, The Director of Technology at Raytheon believes Google Glass is just the tip of the iceberg, claiming that “25 years from now we may be to the point where sensors are in the skin and the person will become the processor.”

Although the military projects the TALOS project will be combat ready for troops engaged in “dangerous missions” by 2018, a history of technological delays makes this time estimate seem dubious.  

Assumedly named after Talos, the mythological Greek character tasked with protecting Europa, VA Home Loan Centers hopes that the Tactial Assault Light Operator Suit similarly defends the lives of military service members.

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Author: Noah Perkins

Noah, a San Diego local, transplanted from Boston currently works as the CMS for VA Home Loans Centers, a V.A. sponsored third party lender, striving to find veterans and active duty personnel affordable housing.

Topics: Interesting Articles

Changes in Urological Mortality Rates Demonstrate Need for Further Changes in Healthcare Delivery

Posted by Mens Liberty

Sep 8, 2014 3:30:00 PM

Hello and welcome back!

This morning as we were looking around the internet for interesting articles when we came upon a interesting review on changes in mortality rates associated with common urological procedures. It’s a mix of good and not so good news. Overall mortality is stable or declining, especially among common procedures. Despite that good news, the study, published in BJU International, found that deaths attributable to "failure to rescue" (FTR) had an absolute increase of 18% during the 12 year study period. This increase coincided with a shift to more procedures being conducted in community based surgical centers without many of the same resources as hospitals. Failure to rescue is defined as death after a complication that was potentially recognisable/preventable.

The researchers also found that older, sicker patients had higher FTR rates, as did minorities, publicly insured patients, and patients who received care at urban hospitals. Complications that lead to mortality included sepsis, pneumonia, deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, shock or cardiac arrest, and upper gastrointestinal bleeding during admission for surgery.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. The study did uncover some good news. The mortality rate decreased for several of the most common urologic surgical procedures, including: radical prostatectomy, ureteric stenting, transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT), percutaneous nephrostomy (PCN) placement, transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), retrograde pyelogram, bladder biopsy, and percutaneous cystostomy.

Between 1998 and 2010, admission for urological surgery procedures decreased about 6% from 605,629 to 569,784. Overall inpatient mortality rate was 0.71% (54,949 deaths). However, the proportion of inpatient mortality attributable to FTR increased from 41.1% in 1998 to 59.5% in 2010. So more people survive surgery but more people are experiencing post-operative complications and aren’t being treated, that means that a patient who could have been saved, wasn’t.



So what does this all mean for the urological community? Well for starters it indicates that urologists have the opportunity to implement process improvements to increase patient safety. The study is also a reminder that process improvement requires looking at the “entire process”. This includes taking a closer look at the older patients during the pre-operative phase and what factors in the operating room are contributing to mortality.

Additionally, identifying the risk factors for FTR will also allow individual practices to take steps to optimize care for higher-risk patients. The Urological community has made great strides in improving the quality and safety of many common procedures but better vetting for high risk patients is necessary if we want to continue this trend.

That’s all we have for today. I know there was a lot of technical information in this blog. So if you have any questions, leave a comment below and we will get back to you ASAP. As always thanks for reading and have a great day!




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Topics: Interesting Articles

Men's Liberty helped me get a Hole-In-One!

Posted by Mens Liberty

Jul 17, 2014 2:00:00 PM

Here at the home office, we often hear stories from our clients about how Men's Liberty has allowed them to live a more active, healthy lifestyle. The device enables them to leave the comfort of their homes and go out and enjoy life, often times competing in sporting events or spending time with their loved ones.

Well today I have one of those stories to share with all of you. Many of our clients love to golf, Joe Vercellone happens to be one of those men. Joe has been a Men's Liberty user for a few months now and thanks to the Liberty he is able to go out and play golf without the hassle of absorbent pads or briefs.

Before I go any further with this story, I would like to extend a very sincere thank you to Joe because he has been kind enough to let me share this story with you all and he continues to remain in contact with us, providing us with valuable feedback. This is a great help to us and we welcome every one of our clients to do the same and be outspoken about your experiences with our product and staff.

On to the story...recently Joe was golfing with a few of his buddies at The Medal of Honor Course at Qauntico Marine Base in Virginia. They were playing the 14th hole, a challenging Par 3 at 127 yards from the senior tees. As he does on every tee shot, he used his trusty driver. With a mighty swing he connected cleanly and the ball headed straight to the pin. Unfortunately he lost sight of the ball half way to the hole because he suffers from macular degeneration. However, he saw the ball land and it appeared it was headed straight to the hole. At first sight, the ball looked to have stopped just short of the hole. He blinked and tried to refocus. When he opened his eyes again the ball was gone. He turned to his partners and asked "what happened to the ball" and they said it fell in the hole. Joe replayed with "pretty good for a half blind guy". Then his buddies proceeded to call him a number of unkind names because neither of them has ever come close to making one.

The next day, Joe had a chance to reflect on the event and thinks he has figured out how he made the shot. By the time he reached the 14th hole his leg bag was so filled with urine it began to weigh down his left leg. He contemplated emptying it but decided to wait another hole before doing so, remembering the number of times he had been told to keep his left foot planted when making a shot. Joe jokes that he doesn't think he could have lifted his left leg or foot if he tried because of the amount of urine in the bag. As a result, his left leg and foot didn't move an inch as he swung and he can't think of any other reason for making such a magnificent shot. Joe says that if he can learn how to calculate his liquid intake and output so that his leg bag is full when he reaches a Par 3, there may be more Hole-in-One's to come.

Joe also is concerned that the PGA will soon get word that Men's Liberty clients are using unauthorized equipment and will outlaw the Men's Liberty device for golfers much like they plan to outlaw the Belly Putter in 2015. Finally, Joe recommends that Men's Liberty establish a "Hole-In-One Honor Role" for its golfing clients.

Well Joe I will have to talk to management about that last idea, but I would like to congratulate you on your Hole-In-One, that is no easy feat. We are also very pleased to hear that Men's Liberty played such an important role in completing this goal. Stories like this really illustrate just how big of difference our products can make in the lives of our patients and we are thrilled at the thought that our products could help someone achieve a lifelong goal. We think that is pretty awesome.

As always, thanks for reading and don't forget to share and if you have any questions or comments leave them in the comment section below.

Topics: Interesting Articles

Things we learned at AUA 2014

Posted by Mens Liberty

Jun 10, 2014 2:00:00 PM

Last month BioDerm Inc./Men's Liberty attended the annual AUA conference in Orlando, Florida. We had a lot of fun at the conference and learned a lot of great things. So we figured why not do a quick blog and share a few of the interesting take-always we learned at the conference.

As you may know, incontinence and sexual dysfunction can be side effects of prostate surgery. Many of you may have had prostate cancer and underwent surgery so you know firsthand the complications that can arise. However, we learned of an interesting study that has been conducted that aims to improve the outcomes of radical prostatectomy.

This study was done to determine whether high-volume experienced open surgeons can improve their functional and oncologic outcomes with robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) and, if so, how many cases are required to surpass radical prostatectomy (ORP) outcomes and reach the learning curve plateau. To do this, 1552 consecutive men underwent RARP (866) or ORP (686) at a single Australian hospital from 2006 to 2012, by one surgeon with 3000 prior ORPs.

What was interesting was that RARP had a long learning curve with inferior outcomes initially, and then showed progressively superior sexual, early urinary, and pT2 PSM outcomes and similar pT3 PSM and late urinary outcomes. This indicates that learning RARP could be worthwhile for high-volume surgeons, but the learning curve may not be justifiable for late-career/low-volume surgeons. The study also concludes that further studies are needed in order to verify the findings.

Another interesting study we learned of was conducted to evaluate the impact of adjuvant radiation therapy (aRT) on urinary continence (UC) recovery in patients with unfavorable pathologic characteristics. This study included 361 patients with either pT2 with positive surgical margin(s) or pT3a/pT3b node-negative disease treated with RP at a tertiary care referral centre. In this study, continence was defined as no use of protective pads. The results showed that after a mean follow-up of 30 months, 254 patients (70.4%) recovered complete UC. The 1- and 3-yr UC recovery was 51% and 59% for patients submitted to aRT versus 81% and 87% for patients not receiving aRT. In addition the study found that the delivery of aRT remained an independent predictor of worse UC recovery and patients treated with aRT had a 1.6 fold higher risk of incontinence.

The conclusion of this study is that the delivery of aRT has a detrimental effect on urinary incontinence and patients should be informed of such impairment before adjuvant treatments are planned.

Now I know that some of that information may have been a bit confusing and technical, but for ease of understanding, I have bolded the most important information. These conclusions give us important insights into the clinical side of oncology and urology.

Well thats all I have for today. Still a bit confused and have questions, comments, or feedback? Leave us a comment in the second below and we will get back to you. As always thanks for reading and have a great day!

Topics: Interesting Articles