Benign prostatic hyperplasia (also called BPH) is a condition that affects the prostate gland in men. As men age, the prostate gland slowly grows bigger (or enlarges). As the prostate gets bigger, it may press on the urethra and cause the flow of urine to be slower and less forceful. “Benign” means the enlargement isn’t caused by cancer or infection and “Hyperplasia” means enlargement. Men beginning to the see the symptoms of BPH should start by consulting a urologist to learn more about their treatment options. It is important to ask your doctor questions about your health and any recommended treatment so that you can make an informed decision. Here are a number of questions to ask your doctor about treatment for BPH.
Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor
- What are the best ways to treat BPH?
- Am I a candidate for active surveillance (basically, not treating your BPH with drugs or other options, and focusing on making lifestyle improvements such as losing weight, exercising more, and changing your diet)?
- How does active surveillance work?
- How fast will my disease progress?
- Are any medicines I am taking dangerous for my stage of this disease?
- Will this likely progress to prostate cancer?
- How do you make the diagnosis?
- Is there a genetic influence that I should be aware of?
- What kind of treatment will be most effective?
- At what point should my symptoms dictate some form of treatment?
- What are my treatment options at this point?
- What are the side effects and benefits of each of these options?
- Am I at risk for these or other side effects?
- How can I reduce my risk and/or manage these side effects?
- Are there any alternative or complementary therapies for BPH that may be right for me?
- What is the likelihood of improvement or elimination of symptoms and how long will that relief last?
- What is the most conservative, yet effective, form of treatment available for my particular situation?
- What are the most common side effects of each of the options?
- What is the cost of treatment, bearing in mind long-term maintenance?