If you’re a man over 50 or 60, your prostate is likely on your mind. After being virtually unnoticeable for your entire life, this little gland will start making its presence known.
It can be scary. Prostate health is a major concern for men, and if it’s not monitored, bad things can happen. That said, it can be hard to determine if and when there might be a problem.
Most men tend to put up with the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, or benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), for months before seeing a doctor. When they do, it’s the repeated trips to the bathroom each night that bring them in.
BPH symptoms range, but talking to your doctor is vital. They can use the BPH Impact Test to assess whether or not you need treatment. Generally speaking, it is generally best to wait as long as possible before treatment, something called “watchful waiting.”
In essence, it means waiting to see if the symptoms worsen. Regular trips to the doctor, say annually or semi-annually, can help you keep a close eye on things.
Treatment comes down to how the symptoms are affecting your quality of life. If you’re still able to navigate your day comfortably, your doctor will likely suggest delaying treatment.
Of course, there are some things you’ll want to consider. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re concerned about your prostate health.
1. How severe are my symptoms?
2. Are the symptoms preventing me from doing things I enjoy (activities, work, responsibilities, etc.)?
3. Are the symptoms seriously affecting my quality of life?
4. Are symptoms worsening?
5. When was the last time I visited the doctor?
6. Do I know the risks associated with treatment?
7. Is it time for me to do something?
Deciding when to get treatment is a personal decision to come to with a doctor’s guidance. Consider what you can live with, your level of concern, and how you’d like to proceed.