LISTEN up blokes – when did you last have your prostate checked?
Doctors are encouraging all older men to be checked for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as an enlarged prostate.
An enlarged prostate can cause difficulty in passing urine and over time can lead to the complete inability to pass urine, urinary infections, damage to the kidneys or bladder and eventually potential surgery.
It’s something David, 61, from the Gold Coast, knows too well.
He lived with BPH for almost five years before being diagnosed and treated last year.
“I was constantly going to the bathroom. I had to plan my entire day around the next toilet, and I was getting up about four-to-five times a night to urinate,” he said.
“I lived with these symptoms for so long having mistakenly assumed they were normal. It wasn’t until visiting my GP for an unrelated matter that he mentioned my frequent urination may be linked to my prostate.”
Further testing confirmed David’s frequent urination was due to BPH and he was referred to urological surgeon for treatment.
“I’d never heard of BPH until being diagnosed. Up until then, I thought prostate issues were a reflection of poor health, and given I was so healthy and active, it never crossed my mind
“If you’ve got trouble with your waterworks, don’t muck around. Get checked out. Visit your doctor.”
David isn’t alone. One in three Australian men over 50 are regularly disappearing to the bathroom.
Clinical Associate Professor of Urology at Macquarie University Bill Lynch said the prostate has proven extremely burdensome to the lives of men.
“Prostate issues are a fact of life for men, and are just as relevant now as they have been through the ages,” Associate Professor Lynch said.
“BPH is a progressive, non-cancerous disease that tends to strike ageing men. Fifty per cent of men aged in their 50s will experience BPH, increasing to 80 per cent of men aged in their 80s.”
While not all men with BPH will show symptoms, more than 30 per cent of those aged over 50 will experience moderate-to-severe lower urinary tract symptoms, two-thirds of whose symptoms will be caused by BPH.
The quality of life for men with symptoms of BPH is significantly lower than for those exhibiting no symptoms, with daily activities, such as driving, sport, sleep and social activities considerably affected.
If you suspect that you, or a loved one may have symptoms of BPH, talk to your GP and check the severity of your symptoms online at www.disappearingdave.com.au