NeoTract, a wholly owned subsidiary of Teleflex Incorporated (NYSE:TFX) focused on addressing unmet needs in the field of urology, today announced new data showing that both men and women have many misconceptions about benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) treatment options and side effects, as well as the impact of the condition on men’s overall health – suggesting that a focus on better understanding of this common condition may be in order for the new year.

BPH, also known as enlarged prostate, is non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate that occurs as men age. The condition affects over 40 million men in the United States alone, with more than 40 percent of men over 50 and 80 percent of men over 70 having BPH. The symptoms of BPH can cause loss of productivity, depression and decreased quality of life. In addition, if left untreated the condition can worsen over time and cause permanent bladder damage.1

“Data clearly show that both men and women have significant misconceptions about men’s health, including BPH and the ways to treat the condition,” said Ana Fadich, vice president of Men’s Health Network. “If men are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with enlarged prostate, we encourage them to use the New Year as an opportunity to be proactive about their health by talking with their doctor. As men age, early intervention can make a huge difference in their long-term quality of life.”

Two recent surveys sponsored by NeoTract were conducted among 1,000 men and 1,000 women over the age of 40 in the United States, with the goal of understanding participants’ beliefs about BPH versus what is factual about the condition. The results demonstrated that many of the surveyed men and women are not aware of BPH treatment options beyond medication. The survey also found that half of the men who have been diagnosed with BPH reported that their doctors informed them of medication as a treatment for their BPH, while only eight percent said their doctors spoke with them about minimally invasive/outpatient treatments as an option.

“Medication is often the first-line therapy for enlarged prostate, but relief can be inadequate and temporary. Patients can experience headaches or dizziness when taking BPH medication, as well as other negative side effects such as sexual dysfunction, often causing them to quit taking BPH medication altogether,” said Gregg R. Eure*, M.D., F.A.C.S., of Urology of Virginia and Eastern Virginia Medical School. “Fortunately, there are alternative treatments to medication for men with BPH including NeoTract’s UroLift® System, a minimally invasive treatment that is clinically proven to be one of the only BPH treatment options to rapidly and effectively treat urinary symptoms while preserving sexual function. **1-3 It can break the cycle of side effects caused by medications, enhancing a man’s quality of life without the risk of more invasive surgery.”

Many men and women were not aware that minimally invasive procedures are available to treat BPH. Of the participants surveyed:

  • 50 percent were aware that medications are available to treat their BPH, but only six percent were aware that minimally invasive procedures like the UroLift System procedure or PUL are available as treatment options.
  • More than 75% of male respondents said that their doctor had not spoken to them about a minimally invasive procedure as an alternative to BPH medication.
  • 49% of men surveyed who have BPH are using medication to treat their condition. 48% of these individuals are interested in a solution to get off their BPH medication.
  • Over 90 percent said that they were “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to seek minimally invasive procedures if they carried less risk of impotence or incontinence.

Unfortunately, men sometimes avoid talking with their doctor about symptoms because of the perceived side effects of BPH treatment options. Men and women surveyed highlighted their fears with treating BPH:

  • 30 percent of men reported that they are not treating their BPH because the treatment options available are not appealing to them, in other words, they “don’t want to take medication or have surgery”.
  • 31 percent of male respondents and 25 percent of female respondents with male partners believe BPH treatment options can cause impotence or risk of incontinence.

Both men and women also have misconceptions about BPH as a pre-cursor to prostate cancer. Although there is no known link between BPH and later prostate cancer,4 41 percent of men and 55 percent of women surveyed believe that men who have BPH are at a high risk for prostate cancer. In actuality, BPH is a benign condition and unrelated to prostate cancer; however, it can greatly affect a man’s quality of life.

“These study results show that there is still much to be done to educate both men and women about BPH and its treatment options. This is not surprising, as we know that men tend to ignore the symptoms associated with BPH and believe it’s an inevitable part of aging,” said Dave Amerson, president of NeoTract | Teleflex Interventional Urology. “We are excited that, when informed of the facts and their options, so many men are choosing the UroLift System as a treatment for BPH.”


References

Dr. Eure is a paid consultant of NeoTract | Teleflex and is part of the NeoTract faculty.

**No instances of new, sustained erectile or ejaculatory dysfunction

  1. Tubaro et al. 2003 Drugs Aging
  2. McVary, J Sex Med 2014
  3. Roehrborn, J Urology 2013 LIFT Study
  4. Chang, The Practitioner 2012