Joke with blokes: how to ask male patients about urinary symptoms

'Are you the one holding up the urinal queue at the footy?'

Asking men over 50 if they are responsible for the urinal queue at the footy could help GPs improve the diagnosis of benign prostatic hyperplasia, according to a leading urologist.

The condition is under-diagnosed, even though it affects half of men over the age of 50 and impacts their quality of life, says Associate Professor of Urology Bill Lynch, from Macquarie University in Sydney.

Teasing out symptoms such as poor stream, nocturia and incomplete emptying by incorporating a light-hearted question into an annual health review could improve diagnosis rates, he says.   

For example, a half-joke about whether they are the bloke causing the urinal queue at the football can prompt symptom recall and ease any concerns their symptoms may indicate cancer. 

“That’s the kind of thing I try to relate it to — something practical that all men know,” Professor Lynch