One of the most common health complications among men is a prostate enlargement. And many don’t know they have it until the symptoms have already worsened.
According to global healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline Philippines, 24 percent of Filipino men aged 50-59 years old suffer from at least moderate symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), a condition in which the prostate gland grows larger than normal.
Although BPH is not cancerous, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases said, as the prostate enlarges, the gland presses against and pinches the urethra and causes the bladder wall to thicken, potentially causing various urinary symptoms.
“The lack of knowledge on BPH especially among elderly men may lead to late diagnosis and late management of the disease,” said Dr. Jay Javier of GSK Medical Affairs for Urology.
He also added that because of late diagnosis, it often leads to poor quality of life.
Patients affected by BPH suffer from sleep disruption and sexual dysfunction. The complications of the condition can be a source of embarrassment. If untreated, BPH can also lead to Acute Urinary Retention and may require surgery.
According to GSK medical expert for Urology Dr. Carmela Marie Lapitan, although some patients have already been suffering from the symptoms, such as nocturia or excessive urination at night, it takes them a while before they see a doctor.
“The most bothersome for them (patients) is getting up at night often [to urinate], but what actually brings them to the doctor is when they have to strain and wait for a very long time before they can finish urinating,” said Dr. Lapitan.
Lapitan explained that the condition affects men’s quality of life in such as a way that the symptoms require them to limit, if not stop, some of their normal activities.
“Studies have also shown that it does not [only] affect the quality of life of the patient, [as] it also significantly affects the quality of life of the partner because of intimacy issues [and] the physical fact na nagigising din ‘yung wife kapag nagigising ang husband,” said Lapitan.
To raise awareness about prostate health and help improve the quality of life of Filipino men, GSK launches FUN to be WISE on BPH advocacy campaign during the World BPH Day on June 25.
To help everyone understand the condition better, the symptoms for BPH are classified through the FUNWISE acronym, which is based on the International Prostate Symptom Score.
F stands for Frequency, U for Urgency, N for Nocturia, W for Weak stream, I for Intermittency, S for Straining, and E for incomplete Emptying.
The Fun to be WISE advocacy calls on every individual to take action: men are urged to consult their doctors while others can encourage the men in their lives to seek medical advice and treatment.
Remember, it is never too early but it can be too late.
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