PLEASANTON, Calif. & WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Lack of awareness about a common health condition may be causing millions of men to suffer unnecessarily. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as enlarged prostate, affects more than 37 million men in the United States alone. Unfortunately, many men postpone treatment for this disorder because of concerns about side effects; however, their concerns may be alleviated with additional information.
BPH occurs when the prostate gland that surrounds the male urethra becomes enlarged with advancing age and begins to obstruct the urinary system. Symptoms include sleepless nights and urinary problems, and can cause loss of productivity, depression and decreased quality of life. About one in four men experience BPH-related symptoms by age 55 and, by age 70, over 80 percent of men suffer from BPH.
“Most patients blame their symptoms on aging. They may not be aware of the high prevalence of BPH or the available medical or surgical treatment options. There is a high risk to delaying treatment and so men should proactively talk with their doctors,” said Jamin Brahmbhatt, MD, urologist at South Lake Hospital in affiliation with Orlando Health. “It all has to start with a conversation on prostate health. As physicians we need to think beyond cancer and better evaluate and treat BPH because with new minimally invasive procedures the risks are low compared to medications or other surgeries.”
“BPH can have a significant impact on quality of life for men as well as their partners, and can place limitations on their activities,” said Ana Fadich, vice president of Men’s Health Network. “For example, the need for frequent urination may make travel, sleep and sports activities difficult. We hope that with greater awareness of symptoms and treatment options, men will take a more active role in treating BPH, and live life with greater vitality.”
A recent U.S. survey of more than 1,000 men over the age of 50 demonstrated that concerns about the risk of side effects, such as loss of sexual function or urinary incontinence, would cause a majority to postpone or avoid treatment of BPH.
This is unfortunate because, not only is early treatment important to alleviate symptoms and stop the disorder from worsening, but a new minimally invasive treatment option is available that does not require cutting, heating or removal of prostate tissue, and as such does not result in loss of sexual function or urinary incontinence.
“The survey results mirror other research and anecdotal evidence from U.S.-based urologists that patients rarely mention their BPH-like symptoms,” said Dave Amerson, president and CEO of NeoTract, Inc., a medical device company focused on addressing unmet needs in the field of urology, and sponsor of the study. “We conducted this survey in order to further understand the level of awareness among men at highest risk of developing BPH, and the results support our expectations that traditional treatments have a negative connotation among most men.”
The survey, which was completed in October 2015, demonstrated that:
- A majority of men (61 percent) would postpone treatment for BPH because of the risk of sexual side effects or urinary incontinence from traditional treatments
- Eighty-four percent of respondents indicated they would be more open to seeking treatment for BPH if the treatment options available held less of a risk of impotence or incontinence
- Nearly half of the men surveyed (44 percent) were not aware that BPH is more common than prostate cancer. In fact, BPH impacts more than 12 times as many men in the U.S. as prostate cancer
- Concerns over surgical treatments was high among respondents, with 83 percent stating they were interested in a treatment option that could improve BPH symptoms without cutting, heating or removing prostate tissue1
Medication is often the first-line therapy for enlarged prostate, but relief can be inadequate and temporary. Side effects of medication treatment can include sexual dysfunction, dizziness and headaches, prompting many patients to quit using the drugs. For these patients, the classic alternative is surgery that cuts or ablates prostate tissue to open the blocked urethra. While current surgical options can be very effective in relieving symptoms, they can also leave patients with permanent side effects such as urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation (dry orgasm).
NeoTract, Inc. is dedicated to developing innovative, minimally invasive and clinically effective devices that address unmet needs in the field of urology. The company’s initial focus is on improving the standard of care for patients with BPH using the UroLift System, a minimally invasive permanent implant system that treats symptoms while preserving normal sexual function. Learn more at www.UroLift.com or www.NeoTract.com.
About Men’s Health Network
Men’s Health Network (MHN) is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to reach men, boys, and their families where they live, work, play, and pray with health awareness and disease prevention messages and tools, screening programs, educational materials, advocacy opportunities, and patient navigation. Learn more about MHN at www.menshealthnetwork.org and follow us on Twitter @MensHlthNetwork and facebook.com/menshealthnetwork.