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The three letters making Australian men disappear

- Life interrupted for Australian men as 1 in 3 over 50 affected by BPH
- New Prostate Health campaign urges men affected to consult GP

There’s a disease affecting one in three Australian men over 501 that is making them disappear – to the bathroom. The condition, BPH or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, occurs when the prostate gland gets bigger and triggers urinary issues.

The need to disappear quickly due to increased urinary frequency and urgency is felt by more than one million2 Australian men aged over 50.

Whether it is an interruption from work meetings or the ability to simply enjoy a leisure activity like playing sport, too many Australian men are disappearing to the bathroom at life’s crucial moments.

A new campaign has been launched that encourages men affected by BPH symptoms to consult their doctor.

The Disappearing Dave awareness campaign shows how untreated BPH can cause Australian men to miss out on some of life’s most important events. A series of videos featuring Dave, a character who is continuously interrupted by his enlarged prostate highlights how the condition can hinder everyday activities.

Associate Professor Manish Patel, a Sydney-based urologist, says his male patients often discuss the impact of BPH on their life as the need for a bathroom becomes an undeniable priority.   

“BPH is not life threatening but we know it has a major impact on quality of life. Needing to know exactly where a bathroom is and ensuring you have access to it at unusual times is exhausting for my BPH patients.  It is important to educate the patient about the condition and to encourage them seek help early3,4,” 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.  

The Disappearing Dave awareness campaign is sponsored by GSK and is supported by videos and an advertising campaign that covers outdoor, RSL clubs, airports, restrooms, cinema, radio and online.

For further information, consult your healthcare professional.


GSK – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life. For further information please visit

You can follow GSK on Twitter for more Australian updates @GSK_AU.

Information about Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia5

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) occurs when there is an increase in the number of cells in the prostate – a gland which surrounds the top of the urethra. It is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate that affects urination, due to the growing prostate putting increased pressure and narrowing the urethra.

BPH is not life-threatening, however, it has an impact on men’s quality of life.

It is a common condition that usually starts after 40 years of age and becomes more problematic over time.

The causes of BPH are not well understood but research has shown that there may be genetic links to developing the disease.5

The condition can cause the need for frequent urination during the day, weak stream of urine and having to visit the bathroom more than once during the night.


  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. Smith, Weber, Soga, Korda, Tikellis, Patel, Clements, Dwyer, Latz and Banks. (2014). Relationship between lifestyle and health factors and severe Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS) in 106,435 middle-aged and older Australian men: Population-based study. PLOS One, 9, 10.
  4. Gravas. (2017). Treatment of non-neurogenic male LUTS European Association of Urology Guidelines 2016. (accessed May 2017)
  5. Andrology Australia: Prostate enlargement or BPH. (accessed June 2017)