When Fear Affects Your Health

When Fear Affects Your Health 645d5438504cd.png

When Fear Affects Your Health

In today’s world, at least in the United States, awareness is everywhere, about everything. No longer are personal struggles hidden behind closed doors. People are speaking out, writing books, going on talk shows, and starting ad campaigns about everything from recovering from addiction, abuse, cancer, erectile dysfunction, and prostate conditions.

So why is it that so many men still avoid speaking with their doctor about their prostate issues?

For men who experience symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate or other prostate conditions- there are two major impediments to seeking treatment.

The first one is embarrassment. Many men were raised to “be a man” and not ask for help- which is a terrible way to be and can cause a lot of unnecessary stress, and pain, and can even lead to a death that could have been prevented.

The other big issue that often leads to avoiding seeking treatment is fear. This is especially true when it comes to prostate issues, as men are wired to be instinctively protective when it comes to their reproductive parts. Fear about what the diagnosis may be, and the treatment that will be necessary, can often stand in the way of seeking the help that is needed.

Rather than risk finding out that the issue is something more serious like the big “C” diagnosis- cancer, or if it will require surgery, medications, etc.- some will try and ignore the problem altogether- practicing the old “ignorance is bliss” idea.

But ignorance is not bliss. In fact, by avoiding addressing prostate issues head-on with your doctor, BPH symptoms can become painful, disruptive, and interfere with everyday activities and enjoyment. They can affect relationships, stress levels, and mental health problems, and- without proper treatment, the symptoms only become worse.

So what’s the solution? First of all, it’s important to know that you are not alone.

As many as 14 million men in the United States have symptoms of BPH, and worldwide, it is estimated that 30 million men have symptoms. The prevalence of BPH is so frequent, that in some regards, it’s become normal and even at times inevitable. Given that the prostate grows as a man ages, many older men start to experience the symptoms of this around 60. In fact, by age 60, half of all men will have an enlarged prostate, and by age 85, it is estimated that 90%. of all men will have BPH.

Next, knowledge is key- and learning about treatment options can actually put your worried mind at ease.

Some common treatment methods are using medications such as alpha-blockers and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors (5-ARIs). Your doctor may prescribe one or both types, depending on your symptoms and the size of your prostate gland.

Another great treatment option is Prostate Artery Embolization, which is a non-invasive procedure. PAE is performed through a small catheter inserted by your interventional radiologist into the artery in your wrist or groin. The interventional radiologist will then guide the catheter into the vessels that supply blood to your prostate, using tiny round microspheres (particles) that are injected through the catheter and into the blood vessels that feed your prostate to reduce its blood supply. Following this procedure, the prostate will begin to shrink, which will relieve and improve symptoms within days of the procedure.

So don’t let fear or embarrassment keep you from seeking the help you need. Talk to your doctor about any prostate symptoms that you are experiencing, and find out what treatment options are best for you. You may be pleasantly surprised to find a solution that is much simpler and more effective than you may have thought.

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