MEN’S HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH
MEN'S HEALTH: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Did you know November is Men’s Health Awareness Month? Of course, your health is important all year round. However, we take this month each year to highlight the issues that impact the mental and physical health of men in particular.
On average, men die 5 years earlier than women, usually from preventable causes. Therefore, this awareness month is extremely important. Read on for more information about men’s health and the ways in which you can take control of your wellbeing and live a happier and longer life.
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer to impact men under the age of 50 in the UK. Fortunately, it is also one of the most treatable cancers. 95% of men who are diagnosed with testicular cancer survive 5+ years after diagnosis. However, the earlier the diagnosis and treatment the better. Therefore, knowing the symptoms of testicular cancer is crucial. Signs and symptoms include:
- Painless swelling or lump in one of the testicles
- Any change in shape or texture of the testicles
- An increase in the firmness of a testicle
- A difference in appearance between one testicle and the other
- A dull ache or sharp pain in the testicles or scrotum, which may come and go
- A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
The exact cause or causes of testicular cancer are unknown, but a number of factors have been identified that increase a man's risk of developing it. These factors include:
- Undescended testicles
- Family history
- Previous testicular cancer: Men who were previously diagnosed with testicular cancer are 12 to 18 times more likely to develop it in the other testicle
1 in 8 men in the UK will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime, making it the second most common cancer in the UK after breast cancer. Prostate cancer does not have any symptoms, especially in the early stages. Therefore, attending regular prostate examinations with a GP is extremely important for early detection. However, when the prostate is large enough to impact the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the urethra, some symptoms may occur. These symptoms include:
- An increased need to pee
- Straining while you pee
- A feeling that your bladder has not fully emptied
These symptoms should never be ignored; however, they do not always mean prostate cancer and can sometimes be caused by prostate enlargement.
The causes of prostate cancer are largely unknown, as with testicular cancer, though certain factors can increase the risks of prostate cancer, such as:
- Age: The chances of developing prostate cancer increase in men over 50
- Family history: Men whose father or brother were affected by prostate cancer are at slightly increased risk themselves
In the UK, every 3 out of 4 deaths by suicide are men. On top of this, 1 in every 8 men in England suffer from common mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and stress. Whilst poor mental health impacts both men and women, men are often less prone to seek support or speak up when they are struggling.
Social expectations play a large part in this crisis, as negative and debilitating expectations of masculinity are still rampant. One of the best ways to combat this is to remove the stigma of mental health struggles, especially amongst men, whether it is in the office, at home, or just when talking to friends. Creating a safe space in which people feel comfortable discussing issues they face can make such a difference and also make it clearer to determine when professional help is needed.
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HOW CAN THE DOCTORS CLINIC GROUP HELP
The Doctors Clinic Group offer a range of men's health services including prostate and testicular examinations as well as mental health services suitable for both men and women. Our medical experts are also available to discuss a vast list of other men's health topics. Simply book a GP appointment in any of our private doctors' clinics.
November is men's health awareness month, however, it’s important to remember that everyone’s health is important all year round. Health should never be neglected. Put your health first.
If you need emergency support, please go to your local A&E or call NHS 111 (in England). You can also contact the following crisis support hotlines:
- Samaritans – 116 123 (24/7, 365 days a year)
- SANEline – 0300 304 7000 (6pm – 11pm, 365 days a year)