10 Health Care Concerns for Men
Most men have an attitude that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Now that may apply to the engines of your automobile but it doesn't apply to the finely tuned engines that run your body. Most men have little need to visit a doctor between the ages of 18-45. In order to sustain good health, men need to make an annual visit to their doctor beginning around age 45.
High blood pressure, heart disease and stroke are the leading cause of death for most Americans. In fact, coronary heart disease kills more people each year than all of the American soldieries who have died in all the wars this nation has fought this century. You can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease by participating in a sound fitness and exercise program and modifying your diet.
This is the most common cancer in men. Nearly 250,000 new cases of prostate cancer are discovered each year and it annually takes the lives of more than 30,000 men, or half the capacity of the Superdome. That's the bad news. The good news is that prostate cancer can be cured if it is detected early. There are no symptoms for early prostate cancer. The diagnosis made by rectal exam and a blood test called the PSA or prostate specific antigen test. These two examinations are recommended annually for all men over the age of 50. For men that have a blood relative (father, brother, or uncle) with a history of prostate cancer or in Afro-American men, they need the two exams after age 40.
Lungs, Colon and Rectal Cancer
Smoking is a risk factor that plays s a role in just about every major health problem that men face. Smoking is well documented as the leading cause of lung cancer and may play a role in other cancers as well. It also causes high blood pressure, impotence, and premature aging of the skin.
Colon and rectal cancer affects both men and women can be detected with screening test for blood in the stool. All men over the age of 50 need a colonoscopy every 5 years, which is looking into the end of the colon with lighted tube.
This is a condition that is feared by most men, yet is one that can be effectively treated in most cases. Nearly 30 million American men suffer from impotence, or the inability to obtain and maintain an adequate erection.
Common causes of impotence include vascular disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, nerve damage, and the side effects of medication. Drugs used to treat high blood pressure, ulcer medications, tranquilizers, pain pills and sleeping pills are some of the common rugs that can affect a man's erection.
Viagra has been a boon to many men with impotence. However in men where viagra is ineffective, there are many other treatment options that can almost assure every man that has a problem with his erection can be helped.
Benign Enlargement of the Prostate Gland
After age 40, the prostate gland, for reasons not entirely known, begins to grow and compress the urethra making urination difficult. This is a benign condition called BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia. Men have frequency of urination, dribbling after urination and the need to get up at night to urinate. There are drugs that can actually shrink the prostate gland (finasteride) and drugs than can relax the muscles between the prostate gland and the bladder.
There is nothing that produces more anxiety and tension in a marriage than if the couple wishes to have children and are unable to conceive. The cause of infertility is shared between men and women. So men have to take at least their share of responsibility to achieve a pregnancy. In most men with infertility the diagnosis can be made with a history, a physical examination and a semen analysis.
Testis Cancer (Lance Armstrong Disease)
Cancer of the testicle is the most common cancer in men between the ages of 20-40. In the past these cancers were fatal. Now more than 95% of men with testis cancer can be completely cured with surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. Just as women are instructed to perform monthly breast self-exams, men should do the same thing. Any lumps or bumps noted in the scrotum should be brought to the attention of doctor. Most of these lumps are benign, but it requires a physician to make that determination.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
It was only a few years ago that the STDs that got the greatest attention were herpes and gonorrhea. Now these two have taken a back set to AIDS and chlamydia. Both AIDS and chlamydia can be prevented by using a condom. Today, chlamydia is the number one sexually transmitted disease in the United States. The symptoms are burning on urination or a discharge from the penis. If left untreated it can cause sterility in men. This STD can be successfully treated with antibiotics.
An AIDS test is recommend for all sexually active men and women on a semi-annual basis.
Stress is linked to the six leading causes of death, including coronary heart diseases, cancer, lung ailments, accidental injuries, liver disease and anxiety itself. One of the best ways to reduce stress is not a pill or an hour a week on the psychiatrist couch, but by beginning a regular exercise program. There are studies in the medical literature that have shown that a basic program of exercise 3 days a week for 20 minutes can produce significant improvement in a person's psychological attitude, stamina, endurance, and performance at work.
Today more men are taking a role in limiting the size of their families by agreeing to have a vasectomy. The procedure can be done now without an incision or a scalpel! The operation can be performed in the doctor's office under a local anesthetic and the man can return to nearly all activities three days after the procedure.
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