Men are notorious for not speaking up about their health; not speaking up, can have a significant impact on your quality of life.
Although cardiovascular disease affects both genders, men are more susceptible to having a heart attack, with around 110,000 men having a heart attack every year compared to around 65,000 in women. Every single day around 190 people will die from a heart attack.
The main risk factors for heart attacks include high cholesterol, lack of exercise, age and ethnicity. Luckily, if you are screened early for your risk of cardiovascular disease, changes to your lifestyle and if needed, medication can drastically reduce your risk of having a heart attack. Screening usually involves measuring your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which are both virtually pain free and available in many pharmacies. Although you might feel healthy and well, it can be difficult to tell whether you have high blood pressure or cholesterol unless you are tested, as you often will not get any symptoms.
In 2014, 11,287 men died from prostate cancer in the UK with around 130 new cases diagnosed each day. Although it is the most common cancer in men, 84% of those with cancer will live for more than 10 years with survival rates improving each year.
Diagnosing prostate cancer early can improve survival and lead to better outcomes. Symptoms usually affect urination and include;
As men get older, their prostates can become larger and cause these symptoms and is caused by a non-cancerous condition known as prostate enlargement and is easily treatable. If you have any of these symptoms or are worried about prostate cancer, seeing your GP can ease your mind and get the information you’re looking for.
Erectile dysfunction (ED), or ‘impotence’ is the inability to get and maintain an erection. It is a common condition that is thought to affect some 50% of men aged 40 to 70. High blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid disorders and depression are all associated with erectile dysfunction. Although it can be embarrassing it is important to see your GP, so the cause can be identified and treated.
Treating impotence depends on the cause. Better management of existing heart disease or diabetes can resolve the issue and lifestyle changes including giving up smoking, losing weight and exercising can improve erectile dysfunction. Medications known as Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors are effective in treating ED and your GP may prescribe them if other measures fail in resolving ED.
Conditions like erectile dysfunction and enlarged prostate might be embarrassing to talk about, but seeing your GP will put your mind at rest and in most cases, will provide you with a treatment plan to solve the issue. Don’t be afraid to talk about your health.