The dreaded C-word and other men’s health issues.
What the cancer statistics have to say.
Men’s Health should not take a back-seat! According to Mens Foundation:
- 1 in 23 men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime
- 5 men die from prostate cancer each day
- More than 4300 men are diagnosed annually
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men over the age of 40.
Scary, right? Prostate cancer is serious. But early diagnosis significantly increases the chance of effective treatment.
Faircape Health’s Doctor Snyders sheds light on Men’s Health.
The prostate gland is a walnut-sized gland found in the male reproductive system. Prostate cancer begins when there’s a change in the healthy cells in the prostate, causing them to grow out of control and form a tumour.
Symptoms of prostate irregularities include (CANSA)
- urinary symptoms (pain when urinating, abnormally frequent urination, loss of bladder control, trouble starting and stopping while urinating, decreased flow of the urine stream)
- traces of blood in semen
- erectile dysfunction
- painful ejaculation
- numbness or pain in the hips, legs, or feet
- persistent bone pain
The PSA test (Prostate Specific Antigen) is a test that measures the level of PSA in your blood. PSA is a substance made by the prostate gland, which naturally leaks out into the bloodstream. A raised PSA can be an early indication of prostate cancer. However, other conditions that are not cancer (like enlargement of the prostate, prostatitis and urinary infection) can also cause a rise in PSA. The higher the level of PSA the more likely the diagnosis is cancer.
It is important to note that the PSA test can miss prostate cancer, so it is important to have regular rectal examinations with your GP.
We believe that it is better to know than not to know.
Some other men’s health issues/concerns to look out for include:
Bladder cancer affects the inner lining of the bladder and is the fourth most common cancer in men, especially men over 50. Symptoms include pain during urination, blood in the urine, and a frequent need to urinate.
The loss of ability to control urination is a common problem that affects as many as one in three people. It can be easily cured or at least made manageable. As a man, you’re more at risk of one of two types of incontinence as you get older:
- urge – an overpowering urge to urinate followed by heavy leakage
- overflow – small leaks from a full bladder
It’s best to examine your testicles regularly for lumps, whatever your age. A common testicular problem for men of all ages is swelling caused by a build-up of fluid around the testicle (hydrocele). You’ll need to visit your doctor to get it checked.
Around five percent of 40-year-old men may have the condition, which increases with age, possibly affecting up to 25 percent of 65 year olds. Anything that interferes with the blood flow to the penis may be a cause. Diabetes, kidney disease, chronic alcoholism, multiple sclerosis, and cardiovascular disease account for many cases.
Heart disease and high blood pressure (hypertension)
Heart disease claims more men’s lives than any other disease. Heart disease runs in families, so you have a greater chance of developing it if your family has a history of the disease. Other risk factors include smoking, an unhealthy diet with too much fat; particularly saturated fat, lack of exercise, being overweight, and stress.
High blood pressure is a major risk. If your blood pressure has been high for a long time, you are more at risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Physical, mental, and emotional health problems that should not be ignored
In their late 40s or early 50s it is very common for men to develop depression, loss of sex drive, impotence, and other physical and emotional problems including hot flushes, mood swings, loss of muscle mass and fat redistribution, tiredness, dry and thin skin, increased sweating, poor concentration, irritability and loss of enthusiasm.
Male menopause, andropause, and mid-life crisis are sometimes used to explain the symptoms listed above. Low levels of testosterone can be responsible for symptoms when the testes are not functioning properly.
These symptoms can interfere with everyday life and happiness, so it’s important to work out the underlying cause, and what can be done to resolve these problems. If you are concerned, you should speak to your GP
The last word on Men’s Health
Screening, screening, screening! Of the 20 015 PSA tests that were conducted by CANSA’s MANVan from 2015 – 2020, abnormalities were detected in 572 cases.
Be aware of changes in your body. See your GP if you are concerned and go for regular screening!