Men’s health is such an important area as men can help to prevent or detect early stages of disease and illness, by having regular health checks with their GP. Men in the age bracket of 40-49 should be having a comprehensive health check which should include:
- Heart – Blood pressure, blood tests, obesity check, ECG
- Diabetes – Blood sugar levels
- Prostate, testicular and bowel check
- Eye and dental reviews
- Bone density assessment
Regular checks will help prevent serious disease or detect it in its early stages. Ladies, you need to encourage your men to have this very important check up.
Cancers that Affect Men
Listed below are the cancers that affect men. It is very important to have regular check-ups and to immediately seek advice if you notice anything unusual.
Prostate Cancer – kills 35 men every hour, the second most common cancer in men but the most common in WA men. Prostate Cancer is an uncontrolled growth of cells in the prostate, a gland only found in men, that sits below the bladder. It commonly occurs in older men.
Symptoms may include:
Weak or hesitant stream when urinating
- Delay in starting to urinate
- Increase in frequency, especially at night
- Dribbling at the end of voiding
Testiculr Cancer – a common cancer in younger men (aged 18-39). Testicular cancer is cancer of the testicles. Sometimes, no symptoms will be present but the most common symptom is a painless swelling or lump in a testicle.
Less Common Symptoms
- Feeling of heaviness / unevenness in the scrotum
- Changes is shape or size of the testicles
- Achiness or pain in the testicles, scrotum of lower abdomen
- Breast tissue tenderness or changes (related to cancer hormones)
Bowel Cancer – common in both men and women over the age of 50. Also known as colorectal cancer, it develops from the inner lining of the bowel. An early detection of growths called polyps, can often prevent this from becoming an invasive cancer.
Symptoms may include:
- Changes in bowel habits
- Thin bowel movements
- Blood in stools
- Abdominal bloating or cramping
- Weight loss
- Unexplained anaemia
Skin Cancer – account for 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers in Australia. Skin cancer occurs when skin cells are damaged, for example by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
There are three main types of skin cancer:
Crusty, non healing sores
Small lumps that are red, pale or pearly in colour
- New spots, freckles or moles that are changing in colour, thickness or shape over a period of weeks to months. (especially spots that are brown to black, red or blue black in colour).
Lung Cancer – Responsible for almost 1 in 5 cancer deaths in Australia. Smoking is the main cause of this cancer. There are two main types of lung cancer – Non Small Cell and Small Cell.
Symptoms – specific to the lung may include:
- Shortness of breath and wheezing
- Chest Pain
- Cough which may produce blood stained sputum
Symptoms – general may include:
- Loss of appetite
Men’s Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
Globally, suicide rates are extremely high but this is especially so in men, with statistics claiming 3 out of 4 suicides are men. We need to raise mental health awareness and make them aware that family, friends and community are available for support especially through more stressful times. Men are facing these tougher times silently and don’t need to.
We need to encourage our men to seek help for anxiety, depression and stress and hopefully by doing this, we will target suicide prevention.
Mental health and well-being are so important for everyone. We can all improve this by:
- Staying Active and eating well
- Continually learning by taking up a hobby or special interest
- Giving back to others
- Taking notice and enjoying the moment
- Staying connected with family, friends and community members
For more information on Mental Health and Well-being visit WAAMH
Make an appointment to see your regular GP for a comprehensive men’s health assessment. If you don’t have one, please book an appointment with one of our experienced after-hours GP’s.