With 24 million men affected by lower urinary tract symptoms caused by BPH in Europe1, there is a growing need for alternative treatment options. Due to an increased dynamic of patient choice and available resources, alternative treatment options are demanded more than ever. Boston Scientific takes pride in offering a portfolio of treatment options, including minimally invasive therapies, to help improving the quality of life for men.
“The new gold standard is not a procedure, it is a portfolio; it is our responsibility to encourage a two-way dialogue with our patients to understand the right treatment for them at that given time.”
Prof. Richard Hindley, consultant urologist, Basingstoke, UK
With many treatment options on the market – from medical management to surgical resection and ablation, it may be difficult to choose the right option for your patient.
We would like to propose a list of three questions that you can consider when selecting a therapy method for BPH:
- What type of relief can I provide to my patient?
- Will the improvements last?
- What are my patients worried about when selecting a BPH therapy?
“It is vitally important that the patient understands the full range of options and the advantages and disadvantages of each. No two patients are the same.”
Prof. Richard Hindley, consultant urologist, Basingstoke, UK.
Millions of men are affected by benign prostatic hyperplasia, disrupting their daily activities, and negatively impacting not only their lives but also the life of their partners. Medical management, minimally invasive and surgical treatments can all be effective to treat BPH, but some can cause a variety of disconcerting side effects.
“Several innovative techniques addressing BPH have ushered in a new era of patient-centric treatments, all with the potential for fewer side effects."
BPH can be a difficult topic. Men, especially the older demographic, may experience a taboo when speaking about prostate conditions, or they are simply not aware of the issue.
They just consider BPH symptoms as 'normal sign of aging'. However, even if the prostate grows with age, the related symptoms should not be accepted as part of the aging process.
Once patients are diagnosed with BPH, they tend to be relieved that it is not cancer, hence their trigger to act may be lower, resulting in increased symptoms and progression of the disease.
Below are the four golden key words that you should consider when talking to your patient:
- Repeat – Repeat the key information again and again to make sure that your patient has understood all the information.
- Perspective – Provide your patient with perspective on their disease, quality of life and treatment options.
- Possibilities – There is more than one treatment option. Explain that there are various possibilities, so that they feel like they have control over their care pathway.
- Patience – Your patient may be overwhelmed with the amount of information, so ensure that they feel comfortable.
The IPSS score – the number one tool for physicians
The International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) is based on answering seven questions concerning urinary symptoms, as well as one question concerning quality of life. Each question allows the patient to choose one out of six answers, indicating increasing severity of a particular symptom.
The answers are assigned points from 0 to 5. The total score can therefore range from 0 to 35 (asymptomatic to very symptomatic).