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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.

Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:

  • Bring someone with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
  • Write 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 questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
  • How fast will my disease progress?
  • Are any medications I am taking dangerous for my stage of this disease?
  • Do you see any signs of prostate cancer?
  • How do you make the diagnosis?
  • Is there a genetic influence that I should be aware of?
  • At what point should my symptoms require treatment?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • 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 Practice Guidelines Committee. AUA guideline on management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. J Urol. 2003;170:530-547. Available at: http://www.auanet.org/education/guidelines/benign-prostatic-hyperplasia.cfm. Accessed August 22, 2013.

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.

Last reviewed September 2013 by Adrienne Carmack, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


 
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