What you suspected is true – research has confirmed that men are more stubborn about their health than women. They are less likely than women to go for check-ups, report symptoms, or perform self-checks. The scheduling and attendance of regular screenings is vital in catching diseases early when they are easier to treat and beat, and in preventing serious medical issues from occurring entirely.
We take a look at four of the top threats to men’s health that can be caught early on, with the right preventative screening and lifestyle routines in place.
#1. Prostate Cancer
This is the second leading cancer for the men in the UK. Together with lung and bowel cancer, they account for 52% of all new cases of cancer in males in the country.
Prostate Cancer UK estimates that 1 in 8 men (or 12.5%) will get prostate cancer once in their lives, with over 47,000 being diagnosed with the disease every year in the UK – the equivalent of 129 men a day – of which 40,000 in England alone.
The prostate gradually enlarges with age and the incidence of developing prostate cancer is higher for those over 50. However, men under 50 can also get it, though this is less common. Your family history, genetics, and ethnic background are also important factors in the likelihood of developing prostate cancer. Men with a family history of it – especially if this is a close relative (father or brother) – are twice more likely to develop prostate cancer. The risk increases further for those with relatives who were under 60 when diagnosed. Men whose mother or sister have had breast cancer are also at higher risk, as are black men, who are more likely to get prostate cancer than other men – 1 in 4 will get it at some point in their life.
What to do:
Whilst statistics paint a difficult picture, and whilst it is impossible to prevent it, solutions are available to pick and act on warning signs early. Knowing the risk factors and your family history is very important as is performing regular self-examinations. The best way to screen for prostate cancer is a blood test that checks the levels of prostate specific antigen. We offer health screenings specifically tailored to men’s health including the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test. If you are concerned, or if you are proactive and just want peace of mind, get in touch and we can arrange for you to be seen by one of our male doctors. PSA results are available in 4-6 hours.
Diabetes is known as the silent killer. Its signs can be subtle and easily missed with life-changing consequences. There are two kinds of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2 . Whilst Type 1 is hereditary, Type 2 is far more common (affecting 90% of sufferers) and primarily resulting from the lifestyle. Though a very serious condition, Type 2 diabetes is preventable and reversible.
What to do:
Know the early signs and symptoms. Be particularly vigilant if you have a family history of diabetes. If you notice some of the symptoms, an HbA1c test will help determine the levels of sugar in your blood. You can take advantage of our same day GP service for a consultation with one of our experienced doctors followed by the test and same-day results. This will help determine a plan of action to ensure glucose levels do not continue to rise further. If you already have Type 2 diabetes, appropriate management is key, and it is also important to remember that this is a reversible condition with the right lifestyle changes. Eating healthily, exercising regularly, stop smoking, and closely watching alcohol consumption are some of the key steps. Our head doctor, Enam Abood has 35 years’ experience in the management of chronic health issues, including diabetes, and demonstrable success in helping patients reverse the condition. Contact us to arrange a session.
#3. Cardiovascular diseases
Cardiovascular disease (or CVD) is the general term that refers to conditions affecting the heart and blood. It is generally associated with a build-up of fat in the arteries, and an increased risk of blood clots, as well as damage to arteries in vital organs such as the brain, heart, and kidneys. It is one of the main causes of death and disability in the UK, and men are more likely to develop it at an earlier age in life than women.
The family history of CVD, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, unhealthy diet, being overweight or obese, and ethnic background are all risk factors for developing CVD. It is important to know the risk factors as these are also your primary and most effective prevention tools.
What to do: A healthy lifestyle comprised of healthy eating and regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight will help prevent the occurrence of CVD. Salt, refined sugars, and saturated fats increase your blood pressure. High blood pressure damages the walls of your arteries leading to CVD. Ensure you have a balanced diet that is low in the former but rich in vegetables, fibre and wholegrain foods, as well as lean protein. If you smoke, giving up as soon as possible is crucial. Reach out to your GP for support and a plan to help you quit. Alternatively, clinical hypnotherapy is one of the most effective ways to stop smoking. Cut down alcohol consumption and ensure that any chronic illnesses – like diabetes – are managed appropriately. It is a good preventative measure to schedule regular screenings to check blood pressure and test cholesterol levels. This is additionally important if you have the family history of CVD.
Though not in the same league as previously-mentioned diseases for its severity, tiredness can nonetheless be a symptom of something more sinister and serious. Potential issues can include:
- Anaemia – primarily resulting from a lack of iron intake that leads red blood cells to become low in a protein called haemoglobin which is responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body
- Glandular fever – also known as the Epstein Barr virus, or more commonly, mono
- An underactive thyroid where the gland does not produce enough hormone. This can raise havoc in your system and not only contribute to tiredness, but also weight gain and depression among others
- Allergies to certain foods such as gluten, dairy and sugars
- Imbalance of gut bacteria resulting in yeast overgrowth leading to bloating and discomfort
- Low testosterone, especially in men over 45
What to do: Reasons for tiredness can be varied. A comprehensive full blood profile test, developed by our head doctor, will provide a well-rounded overview of your general health and flag up any potential concerns that can be addressed before they become serious health issues. Crucially when dealing with issues of tiredness or aches and pains, the full blood profile also includes testing for thyroid function and Vitamin D levels. We can look at male hormonal health via a hormones profiles test – this helps to understand what might be contributing to a series of male issues including lack of energy. Further specialised testing including a general health risk profile and plenty of other ways in which we can assist you are available, so please give us a call to arrange a visit.