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BPH awareness campaign launched

A campaign to raise awareness of benign prostatic hyperplasia has been launched by charity Prostate UK, with support from GSK

A campaign to raise awareness of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland, has been launched by charity Prostate UK, with support from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

BPH affects more than three million men over 50 in the UK. 

The campaign has two key objectives. The first is to encourage men to seek medical advice for unexplained urinary symptoms, rather than assuming they are a normal part of ageing. The second is to ensure that, where appropriate, BPH is managed by GPs in the primary care setting in order to treat it earlier and minimise costly surgical interventions. To help facilitate this, Prostate UK is campaigning for BPH to be included on the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), which helps GPs implement good practice in their surgeries. 

Effective treatments are available to relieve the symptoms of BPH but, if left untreated, it can lead to increased risk of complications such as acute urinary retention (AUR), kidney and bladder conditions, hospitalisation and surgery. It is estimated that the total annual cost of treating BPH in secondary care is over £111m.

Amanda McLean, chief executive of Prostate UK, explains: "Our mission is to stop prostate disease ruining lives. Awareness of BPH is very low, despite the fact that it's such a prevalent condition. It is currently under-diagnosed and under-treated in the UK and we want to change that. The good news is that effective treatments are available. Men need to know that urinary symptoms don't have to be part and parcel of getting older. They can put their embarrassment to one side and get medical help to improve their day-to-day life." 

To coincide with the campaign, a new report has been produced by GSK in conjunction with Prostate UK, entitled ProState of the Nation. It highlights the current situation and the financial impact on the NHS caused by unnecessary referrals and expensive complications. It also emphasises the fact that, with appropriate training and resources, GPs can do much to effectively manage BPH.

Earlier this month, PMLiVE reported that results from a study showed that GSK's Avodart (dutasteride) and tamsulosin combination treatment reduces the risk of acute urinary retention (AUR) or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)-related surgery, as well as reduced the risk of BPH clinical progression more than tamsulosin alone.

21st October 2009

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