• Talking to Your Doctor About Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

    You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.

    General Tips for Gathering Information

    Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:
    • Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
    • Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
    • Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
    • Do not be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.

    Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor

    About Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
    • 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?
    About Treatment Options
    • 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?
    • Let's talk about possible side effects of the treatment you recommend. I'm particularly concerned about:
      • Sexual function
      • Urinary incontinence
    • 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?

    References

    American Urological Association. Guideline on the management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. American Urological Association website. Available at: http://www.auanet.org/content/guidelines-and-quality-care/clinical-guidelines.cfm?sub=bphCFID=2654109CFTOKEN=47752467jsessionid=8430945fc210c0c7cdd81803728602d13196 . Updated 2006. Accessed July 26, 2010.

    American Urological Association Practice Guidelines Committee. AUA guideline on management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. J Urol. 2003;170:530-547.

    Burnett A, Wein A. Benign prostatic hyperplasia in primary care: what you need to know. J Urol. 2006;175:S19-24.

    Dull P, Reagan R, Bahnson R. Managing benign prostatic hyperplasia. Am Fam Physician. 2002;66:87-88.

    National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/ .

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