This post was written by Dr. Muhilan Parameswaran
Many men die prematurely every year by ignoring their own health until it’s too late. The impact on their families tends to be devastating. As a rule of thumb, men visit their doctors half as often as women do, which is probably why men tend to get diagnosed later and live shorter lives. Men must be aware of any changes in their health and get themselves checked out if something doesn’t feel right.
Here are three key health issues men should never ignore:
1. A lump on your testicles
- Testicular cancer is the commonest cancer in men aged 20-25. Worldwide incidence has doubled since the 1960s. In its early stages it has no symptoms, and the simplest method of finding it is by regular self-examination. If men find a lump, its best to see a urologist. Fortunately, not all lumps are cancerous, but finding lumps early means a 95% cure rate.
2. Trouble urinating
- If you don’t know what your prostate is or does, you’re not alone: most men don’t.
- The prostate sits below the bladder and helps with semen volume. When it enlarges, it squeezes the urethra and cause urination problems. If left untreated, the effects of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) can range from only just affecting the quality of life to making men unable to pass urine.
- Prostate Cancer is the commonest male cancer in the US and Europe and sixth-most in Malaysia. It usually presents with urinary problems or no symptoms at all, and is found using a PSA test and a rectal examination (usually for men above 45 years). If found early, prostate cancer is treatable and has a good, long-term survival. (Nelson Mandela and Rudy Giuliani are survivors.)
- Most men have problems getting or keeping an erection (impotence) at some point.
By the age of 40, impotence has probably happened to each man at least once, but is usually only a problem if it persists. It may only be tiredness, but in 75% of cases, impotence was the first sign of a problem with the heart vessels and appeared two to three years before a heart attack occurred. In general, impotency can be treated. Even if men don’t want to be treated, they should still be checked out; it may save their lives.
Source: The Expat February 2013
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