My name is David Ralph, I am a urology specialist and I see around 500 men with Peyronie’s disease every year.
In time I have come to realise what a challenging disease it is to deal with. First of all we need to encourage men to come forward as soon as possible. Don’t be embarrassed to talk to your doctor. Bring photos. Explain how it is affecting your life. The more we know the better we can help, and the earlier treatment can begin the better. The more we talk about Peyronie’s disease, the less stigma there will be surrounding it.
It is important to be referred to a urologist with specialist experience in Peyronie’s disease who is abreast of all the different treatment options – surgery can be effective but is not the only answer. There are lots of other treatments that can help. For men in the early active stage I personally recommend Cialis daily, Vitamin E, Pentoxifylline or Tamoxifen. Adding vacuum therapy using a device to stretch the penis may help at any stage of the disease, i.e. during the active or chronic stage. I also use Collagenese injections in some patients which help to break down the plaque. Doctors need to be made more aware about the multiple treatments that can be used in order to choose the best option for their patient.
Peyronie’s disease can affect patients mentally as well as physically. The research from the British Dupuytren’s Society shows just how common depression is amongst men with the condition. I have even had one patient commit suicide because of his Peyronie’s disease. We need to do more to get men with Peyronie’s disease the support they need to stop tragedies like this happening. I would like to see men with Peyronie’s disease feel comfortable enough to talk about their mental health issues, and to be referred for counselling if they want it.
I am delighted to support the #StandUpforPeyronies campaign and hope it helps men with Peyronie’s disease to get the treatment they deserve.
Dr. David Ralph BSc MS FRCS (Urol) is a Consultant Urologist at the Institute of Urology and Peter's Andrology Centre UCLH, London. He was appointed in 1996 and has built up the largest Andrology unit in Europe. Dr. Ralph divides his time between researches, teaching and clinical medicine and is one of the most experienced Peyronie's specialists in Europe.
He has published extensively on the subject of Peyronie's disease and the surgical and medical management of erectile dysfunction.
Dr. Ralph has been the President of the British Association of Urological Surgeons (BAUS) section of Andrology and British Society for Sexual Medicine (BSSM) and is heavily involved in the patient organizations of the Sexual Dysfunction Association (SDA) in the UK and its European equivalent ESDA. He is chairman of the Sexual Advice Association (SAA).