Men's Health

Recently, a movement has begun throughout the country focusing on men's health issues. Studies have proven that men just do not care enough about their health to visit a doctor. In fact, men visit doctors 25 percent less than women. This contributes to statistics such as men die seven years earlier than women and are more likely to suffer from heart attacks, cancer, and stroke.

Lawmakers have proposed the creation of the Office of Men's Health. The office would promote screening and early detection as well as the awareness of men's health issues. This proposed bill aims to treat men's diseases with the same concern given to such women's issues as breast cancer. Particular focus will be given to prostate and testicular cancer.

Each year 7,200 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer and 400 die from the disease. The majority of these men are in the 15-40 age group. Additionally, 198,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 31,500 will die from the disease.

Testicular Cancer

Most cases of testicular cancer can be found at an early stage. In about 90% of cases men have a painless or an uncomfortable lump on a testicle, swelling, or heaviness or aching in the scrotum or abdomen. Other signs include swelling of the breasts, loss of sexual desire, and early growth of facial and body hair in boys. The best screening for early detection is a simple monthly self-exam performed after a warm bath or shower when the scrotal skin is most relaxed.

 

  • Stand in front of a mirror and hold the penis out of the way.
  • Examine each testicle separately by holding it between the thumb and fingers. Using both hands roll the testicle gently between the fingers feeling for any hard lumps or smooth round masses.
  • Notice changes in the size, shape, or consistency of the testes.
  • Contact your physician if you notice any abnormalities.

 

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer (excluding skin cancer) of American men. It affects 1 in 9 men and is most common in men over 50, men with a family history of the disease, and African Americans. It is unlike many other cancers in that it often grows very slowly.

Annual testing is the best way to find prostate cancer early, which may help save your life. Since prostate cancer testing became relatively common, the death rate for the disease has dropped. For men with cancer that is proven not to have spread beyond the prostate gland, the five-year relative survival rate is near 100%.

Recommendations of the American Cancer Society for early detection include combined testing of the prostate-specific antigen blood test (PSA) and the digital rectal examination (DRE) beginning at age 50 for most men and earlier for those in high-risk categories. Since doctors started using this testing method, the number of prostate cancers found at an early, curable stage has increased. If cancer is found, there are many options available for early prostate cancer treatment.

Source: American Cancer Society

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