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Prostate cancer treatment options

According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer. About 1 out of every 41 men will die of it.

These statistics are why members of the UTMB Health Urology team are so passionate about spreading information about the sometimes-silent disease.

“When they are aware of the disease, men are more likely to seek help from physicians and have conversations about it,” says Dr. Laith Alzweri, surgeon and associate professor within the Department of Surgery’s Urology Division. 

Dr. Stephen Williams, a clinical leader and professor within the departments of Surgery and Radiology, wants patients to know that if they do end up with a positive diagnosis for prostate cancer, there’s lots of options for next steps, but it’s key to have a care team you can trust to guide you throughout the process.

Dr. Stephen Williams on prostate treatment options


Here for patients from diagnosis through survivorship, the UTMB Health Men's Health team is passionate about ensuring patients don’t just survive, but that they thrive before, during and after treatments they receive. 

“Life doesn’t end or stop when you have cancer,” he says.



Student athlete healed by UTMB Sports Medicine team

Priest Simpson jumped high to catch a football during a game, but he fell to the ground fast when his muscles pulled the still-growing part of his tibia away from his leg and turned it upside down. His leg looked crooked.

image of UTMB Health patient Priest Simpson stretching on the sidelines of a football field in his football uniform with a coach assisting him with his leg

“I thought it was dislocated because it was still connected to other part of my knee,” Priest said. His worried parents got him to the emergency room at UTMB League City Hospital.

But his leg wasn’t dislocated. Priest had a displaced avulsion fracture of his tibial tubercle.

“This is a big injury for an athlete but also for anyone who expects normal function of their leg,” said Dr. William Weiss, an orthopedic sports medicine doctor with UTMB Health who treated Priest soon after he arrived at the hospital. “This injury completely disrupts the extensor mechanism of the knee that is the primary mechanism for generating power for running and jumping, which are some of the things Priest does well!”

Priest’s injury was on the more severe end of the scale, requiring an operation with screws to reduce and secure the fragment with patellar tendon tensioning. Dr. Weiss anticipated Priest’s continued growth.

“He recovered well and was discharged from the hospital with the expectation he would return to sports. This injury can end athletic careers for young athletes, but that is not what Priest or his parents – or me – wanted of course.”

The fracture happened in April 2021, and three months later, Dr. Weiss cleared Priest for full training. By September 2021, he cleared him to return to full sport without restrictions. That fall, Priest competed as part of an elite football team representing Texas on the national level.

Then Priest and his family temporarily moved to Africa as part of his family's missionary commitments, Dr. Weiss stayed in touch.

“What stuck out with us, and the reason why we stayed in contact even out of the country, was how Dr. Weiss spent an extreme amount of time with Priest,” said Ariel Simpson, Priest’s mother. “He didn't just rush. We know he's busy. We know he has a lot of patients. But he took his time with Priest. He saw him multiple times before we left the country again. He gave advice beyond the surgery and showed extreme care for Priest.”

Some of Dr. Weiss's advice was to get physical therapy for Priest to strengthen his muscles and tendons around the bones and the ligaments.

“And that really helped with pain,” Ariel Simpson said.

“I started this physical therapy, and then I went to the gym and started working on my legs until I felt strong enough to get back into sports,” Priest said.

He continues working with a trainer on a well-rounded routine that includes running, balancing, band work and weightlifting. He works out with the trainer every other day for 90 minutes in addition to his sports practices and games.

“Bottom line is that this is a great young man who has overcome a significant injury and continues to be very active in various sports with great potential for his future,” Dr. Weiss said. “I expect great things from him in all aspects of his life, not just sports.”

Priest, now 14, and his family visited friends [extended family] in Texas in December. They visited with Dr. Weiss in person before they returned to their missionary work in Africa.

“As a parent, it's difficult to watch your child in any kind of pain at all,” Ariel Simpson said. “We didn't know how he was going to recover or what that was going to look like. But it's incredible if you are surrounded by a medical staff and specifically a surgeon who cares. It made a difference to us very deeply in this stressful, heartbreaking moment.”

“To see how strong he is today really takes your breath away when you think about how he's recovered,” said Sean Simpson, Priest’s father. “Now he's 6 foot. He's healthy. He's 170 pounds. Seeing what he can do and work out his full body— it's just impressive.”

Priest, who plays soccer and basketball too, has a strategic game plan for when he returns to live in the United States.

“I want to come back to play high school football and get a scholarship to play college football,” he said.

And he’s still growing.

Screen time guidelines for kids

The American Academy of Pediatric and Adolescent Psychiatry notes that's it's important to limit screen time for children to no more than two to three hours a day, on most days, although sometimes expanding to three to four hours is OK, especially if it's less frequently, like only on the weekends.

However, most school age children average anywhere from four to six hours a day and that's too much.

In addition to monitoring the time they're on devices, it's important to also monitor what kinds of content they are consuming. It's common for predators to try to engage with children through advertisements and other virtual means, so stay vigilant always.

When possible, try to have scree-free quality family time, like when eating meals together. This will help foster a stronger family dynamic. Additionally, to help ensure everyone has a good, restful night's sleep, try to put all devices away 20 to 30 minutes before bedtime, especially on school nights.

For more information on health and wellness measures--including care options -- visit the UTMB Health Pediatric Primary Care page.

Lesley Nairn on monitoring screen time

Outdoor bug safety

When spending time outdoors, it's important to be mindful of the bugs around you. To keep you and your family safe and free from bug bites, follow these tips from pediatric nurse practitioner Taylor Little.

  • Always wear bug spray containing DEET
  • When applying to a small child, always spray into hands first then apply to the child
  • If wearing sunscreen, too, first apply sunscreen, then the bug spray.
  • Avoid times like dawn and dusk, as that's when bugs are most active
  • Wear long sleeves and pants when possible.
  • Check yourself and your children when you come inside to make sure nothing came in with you
  • If possible, take a shower upon coming in from the outdoors
  • In areas that area heavily wooded or overgrown, stay on trails and paths

For more information on health and wellness measures--including care options -- visit the UTMB Health Pediatric Primary Care page.

Taylor Little on outdoor bug safety

View Taylor Little's profile

Taylor Little is a certified family nurse practitioner who specializes in pediatric primary care. Originally from Houston, she's an avid runner and mom of two.

UTMB Health Pediatric and Adult Primary Care, Webster clinic

Healthy eating for children

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends introducing infants aged six months or older to solid foods.

Essential to a child's growth and development, healthy eating is something that should be encouraged from an early age, as it will lead to a lifetime of better health and reduce risk of chronic disease later in life.

In those early stages of eating, it's important to focus on foods high in iron such as cereals, grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables.

As children begin to age, focusing on a well-balanced diet that contains a good mix of proteins, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats is encouraged to ensure they develop strong bones and muscles and a robust immune system.

Additionally, aim to incorporate forms of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants as they play a vital role in enhanced memory, concentration and cognitive function. 

    For more information on health and wellness measures--including care options -- visit the UTMB Health Primary Care page.

    Healthy eating tips from a family nurse practitioner

    View Barbara Herrington's profile

    Barbara Herrington is board-certified by The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is bilingual in English and Serbian.

    UTMB Health Pediatric Primary Care, Lake Jackson clinic

    Morning routines and back to school

    To ease back-to-school jitters, pediatric physician's assistant Amy  Laird-Payne recommends establishing a good morning routine.

    Routines create predictability and familiarity and ease anxiety. Routines also offer children a chance to try some independence and gives them the opportunity to practice good self care habits they can use as an adult.

    When planning your morning routine it's important to do two things:

    • Take into account the needs of you and your child(ren)
    • Start the night before

    Ways you can prepare the night before:

    • Lay out outfits for the next day
    • Discuss hairstyles
    • Plan breakfast
    • Consider your FULL schedule for the next day, to ensure you have anything extra you'll need for after school and work.

    For more information on health and wellness measures--including care options -- visit the UTMB Health Primary Care page.

    For tips on how to have get a good night sleep to come in to your morning well-rested and ready to seize the day, read this blog on bedtime routines.

    Amy Laird-Payne on establishing morning routines

    View Amy Laird-Payne's profile

    Amy Laird-Payne, PA-C is passionate about empowering people to pursue their dreams and obtain great health. She lives in the Brazosport Area with her husband and 3 children.

    UTMB Health Pediatric Primary Care, Lake Jackson clinic

    Bedtime tips from a pediatrician

    For parents looking to start a reliable bedtime routine with their children, Dr. Linda Neely-Shelmire has a few tips to share.

    In addition to starting early in life, Dr. Neely-Shelmire recommends using the "four B's" to ensure you have a successful night-time routine that leads to good, restful sleep:

    • Start the process by bathing before bed
    • Move on to brushing teeth and hair
    • Incorporate books as you settle in
    • Plan to have all of that wrapped up by your target bedtime

    Keeping a routine like Dr. Neely-Shelmire recommends is important, as it helps the child establish healthy sleeping habits early in life, and that's vital, as sleep directly impacts things like, learning ability, behavior and memory.

    For more information on health and wellness measures--including care options -- visit the UTMB Health Primary Care page.

    View Dr. Linda Neely-Shelmire's profile

    Dr. Linda Neely-Shelmire is a decorated veteran and a board-certified pediatrician with a passion for partnering with parents to raise healthy children through wellness goals, good nutrition, physical activity, healthy sleep habits, and an approach that balances the physical, emotional and developmental aspects of being a child.

    UTMB Health Pediatric Primary Care, Lake Jackson

    Back-to-school immunizations

    Before sending the kiddos back to school, UTMB pediatrician Dr. Lee Elam recommends checking in with your child's health care provider to ensure they are up-to-date on all of their vaccinations.

    Below is a breakdown of routine immunizations administered throughout various stages of childhood and development. Additionally, Dr. Elam reminds parents that regular vaccines for COVID-19 and the flu are also available, with most clinics normally offering flu shots at the beginning of September. For the COVID-19 vaccines, she advises parents and guardians talk to their family's health care provider for the most up-to-date information about what's available to them.

    Typical pre-K and Kinder vaccinations

    • DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough "pertussis")
    • MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)
    • Varicella (chickenpox)

    Typical 6th or 7th grade vaccinations

    • Tdap (booster of the DTaP originally administered before the age of 7)
    • HPV
    • Meningitis

    Typical vaccinations for 16-year-olds

    • Meningitis booster (to support original dosage from middle school)
    • Group B Meningitis

    A more  detailed breakdown of vaccinations throughout childhood is available in a previous blog post.

    For more information on children's health and wellness measures--including care options -- visit the UTMB Health Pediatrics page.

    Dr. Lee Elam on vaccinations

    View Dr. Lee Elams profile

    Dr. Lee Elam is happy to serve her hometown of Lake Jackson

    UTMB Health Pediatric Primary Care, Lake Jackson clinic.