“MoMENts In Time”
From infancy to old age, women are simply healthier than men.
Out of the 15 leading causes of death, men lead women in all of them except Alzheimer’s disease, which many men don’t live long enough to develop.
Although the gender gap is closing, men still die five years earlier than their wives, on average.
While the reasons are partly biological, men’s approach to their health plays a role too.
“Men put their health last,” says Demetrius Porche, DNS, RN, editor in chief of the American Journal of Men’s Health. “Most men’s thinking is, if they can live up to their roles in society, then they’re healthy.”
Men go to the doctor less than women and are more likely to have a serious condition when they do go, research shows. “As long as they’re working and feeling productive, most men aren’t considering the risks to their health,” says Porche.
But even if you’re feeling healthy, a little planning can help you stay that way.
The top threats to men’s health aren’t secrets: they’re known, common, and often preventable.
A lump on your testicle
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men aged 20 to 35. If you notice a lump or abnormality in your testicles, first see your GP. Most testicular lumps are not cancer, but it is essential to have any abnormalities checked.
This is because treatment for testicular cancer is much more effective if the cancer is diagnosed early.
Find out what your testicles should look and feel like.
Watch a video on testicular cancer.
Read more on testicular cancer, including symptoms and treatment.
Find out more in testicular lumps and swellings.
Check your moles regularly and be aware of any change in colour or shape, or if they start bleeding. Most changes are harmless and are due to a non-cancerous increase of pigment cells in the skin.
See your GP if a mole looks unusual or becomes itchy. It can then be checked and removed if necessary.
To minimise your risk of skin cancer, avoid exposure to the sun between 11am and 3pm. Cover up and use sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15 when you’re in the sun.
Could you have a cancerous mole and not know it? Use our mole assessment to find out.
Read more information about moles.
If you’re depressed, you may lose interest in things you used to enjoy. If you’ve been having feelings of extreme sadness, contact your GP.
Depression is a real illness with real effects on your work, social and family life. Treatment usually involves a combination of self help, talking therapies and drugs.
Depression is more common in women, but men are far more likely to commit suicide. This may be because men are more reluctant to seek help.
Financial stress: job insecurity, redundancy and debt can all affect your mental wellbeing. Find out when to seek help.
Learn more about depression, including how it is diagnosed and treated.
Read about living with depression.
When the prostate is enlarged, it can press on the tube that carries urine from the bladder. This can make it hard to pass urine, which can be a sign of prostate disease, including cancer.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. More than 30,000 men are diagnosed with it every year. Other symptoms include pain or burning when you pass urine and frequently waking up in the night to pee. If you have any of these symptoms, see your GP.
Every man has a prostate gland and it’s crucial to your sex life. Get to know your prostate and what can go wrong with it.
Watch a video on prostate cancer.
Read about prostate cancer, including the symptoms and how it is treated.
Most men have problems getting or keeping an erection (impotence) at some point.
See your GP if your erection problems last for several weeks.
Generally, lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and exercise, can correct the problem.
Your GP is likely to assess your general health because impotence, also known as erectile dysfunction, can be a sign of more serious conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure.
Half of all men over 40 have had trouble getting an erection at least once.
Read about the causes of impotence and where to get help.
Watch a video on erectile dysfunction.
Find out more about impotence.
Source: Men’s Health UK, NHS UK