"Spending more time whizzing than watching?"

Monday, 19 June, 2017

“Spending more time whizzing than watching?”

“Spending more time leaking than leading?”

These are some of the messages in Disappearing Dave, a prostate health campaign designed to raise awareness of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and to encourage dialogue between doctors and male patients.

The Disappearing Dave awareness campaign shows how untreated BPH can cause men to miss out on some of life’s most important events — from playing in a sports game, sightseeing, other leisure activities and work meetings, and features a series of videos about Dave, a character whose life is continuously interrupted by urinary symptoms caused by his enlarged prostate.

Research shows that one in three Australian men aged over 50 have an enlarged prostate1, which is approximately 1.2 million men in today’s population2. Other symptoms of the condition include having to urinate more than once a night, a weak stream and dribbling3.

Two-thirds of men presenting to GP clinics with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) have BPH. For the men with BPH, the majority are suffering from moderate to severe LUTS4.

Associate Professor Manish Patel, a Sydney-based urologist, said the campaign emphasises the need for healthcare professionals to trigger more frequent prostate health discussions with at-risk patients.

“While BPH is not a life-threatening condition, we know it has a major impact on quality of life. The severity of LUTS may be reduced by initiating treatment in men at risk of disease progression, better educating the patient about the condition and recommending lifestyle changes like increasing physical activity5,” said Associate Professor Patel.

Dr Luke Morphett, General Practitioner at Sydney’s MQ Health Men’s Health Services and General Practice, said progress is being made in raising awareness of BPH among older Australian men. He still believes, however, there are many who continue to ignore symptoms.

“There are a large number of men in the target age group that trivialise significant symptoms of an enlarged prostate by simply putting them down to the ‘natural’ ageing process. By initiating a discussion about prostate health, GPs play a key role in reducing the impact of these symptoms. This involves assessing symptom severity, initiating treatment where appropriate or referring to a specialist,” said Dr Morphett.

To see the campaign videos, find out more about BPH or take a 2-minute questionnaire to assess symptom severity, visit www.disappearingdave.com.au.


1. Homma. (1997). Epidemiologic Survey of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms in Asia and Australia Using the International Prostate Symptom Score. International Journal of Urology, 4, 40-46.

2. Australian Bureau of Statistics.

3. Emberton et al. (2008). Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia as a progressive disease: A guide to the risk factors and options for medical management. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 62, 7, 1076-1086.

Carballido. (2011). Can benign prostatic hyperplasia be identified in the primary care setting using only simple tests? Results of the Diagnosis Improvement in Primary Care Trial. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 65, 9, 989-996.

Gravas. (2017). Treatment of non-neurogenic male LUTS European Association of Urology Guidelines 2016.

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