Men's Health Network ("MHN") and Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AUXL), a specialty biopharmaceutical company, have announced the launch of a new health awareness program called "Ask About the Curve" to provide information about Peyronie's disease (PD) and to help empower men to have meaningful discussions about their condition with their partner and their healthcare provider. PD is a condition, perhaps related to injury or inherited predispositions, in which collagen scar tissue often develops under the skin of the penis. The scar tissue, known as a Peyronie's plaque, can feel like a bump and cause the penis to curve or bend when erect. This curvature deformity of the penis can be a devastating disorder that can impact sexual intercourse, erections and erection appearance, and can cause affected men to feel bothered, distressed, or embarrassed.
As June is Men's Health Month, the results of a national opinion survey, supported by Auxilium, of 550 men with PD and their partners show the greater need for understanding of the condition from both perspectives. Key findings of the survey reveal:
Men and their partners experience personal distress related to Peyronie's disease that for the most part does not appear to subside over time. When asked to consider whether personal distress related to PD has changed from diagnosis to today, 88 percent of men indicated that it has remained the same or worsened. 78 percent of partners indicated that their personal distress has remained the same or worsened.
There is a disparity between men and their partners when asked whether "functional" versus "psychological" aspects of Peyronie's disease cause the most bother. When asked which aspects of PD bothered them the most, men with PD selected functional aspects, such as curvature of the erect penis and performance anxiety, while partners selected psychological effects associated with PD, such as avoidance of intimacy and lowered self-esteem.
Peyronie's disease is characterized variously among men with PD and their partners, but the majority rank-order three terms most frequently. Of both the men with PD and partners polled, the three most common terms used to describe PD were: "embarrassment," "deformity" and "disease."
Men with Peyronie's disease may bear the burden alone, despite their relationships with a partner and with a doctor. 42 percent of men with PD responded that they have not talked to their partner about their condition and 22 percent have not spoken with anybody about their condition.
"Despite the sensitive nature of Peyronie's disease, MHN is approached more and more frequently about curved erections and the impact it has on men and their partners," explained Ana Fadich, Vice President at MHN. "This made us realize that men and their partners are looking for valuable information about Peyronie's disease. 'Ask About the Curve' is an excellent resource."
Ask About the Curve is a program developed to help men start the conversation about Peyronie's. There are a number of resources available at http://askaboutthecurve.com/. Visitors can learn more about Peyronie's disease and its impact, hear from experts about how to deal with the condition and get advice on talking about Peyronie's with a partner and their healthcare provider.
"Auxilium is truly excited to be collaborating with such a well-known leader in the field of men's health to help men and their partners understand the condition and ultimately have meaningful conversations with their partners and their healthcare providers ," added Adrian Adams, President and CEO of Auxilium.
For men with Peyronie's disease, the impact goes beyond the physical symptoms and may include sexual, psychological, and social effects. Every year, it is estimated at least 65,000 men are diagnosed with Peyronie's disease in the U.S., although the actual incidence may be potentially underdiagnosed because men are embarrassed to seek help for their condition.
Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.