A call for prostate health awareness

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A “commitment exercise” to promote prostate health awareness was done by Dr. Jay Javier, GSK’s medical affairs manager for urology, and Dr. Carmela Lapitan, GSK’s Emerging Markets medical expert for urology.

Men, especially those who are approaching their senior years, deserve to enjoy the activities they love to do — from spending more time with family and friends, to traveling the world and engaging in a sport like running or biking — without the discomforts of age-related medical conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

BPH is an enlargement of the prostate gland that makes urinating difficult and uncomfortable. If left untreated, it can lead to other serious medical conditions. To prevent this from happening, men who experience BPH’s signs and symptoms are encouraged to seek early consultation with their doctors.

A study shows that 24 percent of Filipino men aged 50 to 59 suffer from at least moderate symptoms of BPH, some of which include frequent trips to the bathroom, whether in the day or night just to pee, the need to push or strain while doing so, having a weak stream of urine, and the inability to completely empty the bladder after urinating.

Experts believe that BPH is due to hormonal changes in the body as men grow old.
“It’s how your body produces the hormones and how your body responds to it that makes the prostate grow,” says Dr. Carmela Lapitan, a urologist and medical expert for global healthcare company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

Family history is also a risk factor for this illness. Men with close male relatives who have BPH have an increased risk of suffering from it.

“If the men in your family experience BPH at, say, 50 years old, there’s a likely chance for you to develop it around that age,” Lapitan explains.

To ease its symptoms, a few lifestyle changes are recommended. Some of these include reducing the intake of liquids, especially at night, or before traveling; and timing the use of the toilet to make sure that one is only using it when his bladder is relatively full.

Another GSK medical expert, Dr. Jay Javier also advises men “not to shy away from visiting a doctor for checkup. Early diagnosis of BPH means better management of the condition for an improved quality of life.”

To know more about BPH, as well as the different advocacies of GlaxoSmithKline, visit its website at www.gsk.com.ph.