mens health

Men’s Health

Did you know…?

  • Although rare, 1 in 688 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer
  • 95% of men do not consume sufficient fruit and vegetables
  • 86% of men are overweight or obese
  • 60% of men do not exercise enough to be of benefit to their health
  • Of those that use drug and alcohol treatment services, 68% are male
  • Males have a life expectancy of 79.2 years compared to females with 83.7 years
  • More men die from prostate cancer than women die from breast cancer
  • The rate of suicide for men is 3.5 times higher than for women

Mental health issues for men:

Mental health is an issue that should never be ignored. Researchers estimate that millions of men suffer from depression each year. While this number is larger in women, men are almost four times more likely to suffer the ultimate consequence of their depression: suicide.

Mental health issues in men is being called, ‘a silent crisis’ due to men’s depressive symptoms are not being readily recognised by physicians and by male sufferers themselves. Generally most men are more willing to acknowledge physical symptoms — fatigue, headaches, irritability, loss of interest in work, lowered sexual drive, and sleep disturbances — rather than emotional feelings of sadness, worthlessness, hopelessness, and excessive guilt. It is these symptoms, and others such as alcohol or drug dependence, that require greater recognition by men as possibly pointing toward an underlying illness of depression. If you/your partner suffer from these signs/symptoms, please seek help from your doctor ASAP.

Prostate cancer:

  • Prostate cancer was the most commonly diagnosed cancer in males in Australia for 2012 (18,560 cases). Australia also has the highest incidence rate of prostate cancer (105 per 100,000), compared with that of other countries. Health-care expenditure on prostate cancer was estimated to be $349 million in 2008-09, an increase of 23% on expenditure in 2004-05.
  • Early prostate cancer usually shows no obvious symptoms. Some advanced prostate cancers can slow or weaken your urinary stream or make you need to urinate more often, especially at night. But non-cancerous diseases of the prostate, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) are a more common cause of these symptoms. If the prostate cancer is advanced, you might develop blood in your urine (hematuria) or trouble getting an erection (impotence). Advanced prostate cancer commonly spreads to the bones, which can cause pain in the hips, back (spine), ribs (chest), or other areas. Sometimes cancer that has spread to the bones of the spine will press on the spinal cord or its nerves, causing weakness or numbness in the legs or feet, or even loss of bladder or bowel control. Other diseases can also cause many of these same symptoms. It is important to tell your doctor about any of them so that the cause can be determined and treated, if needed.

Men’s sexual health:

Erectile dysfunction, or impotence, means not being able to get or keep an erection that is sufficient for sexual intercourse. Many men suffer from impotence at some time in their lives. It can come and go, and have a range of causes, both physical and psychological.

Physical factors that may include: diabetes, multiple sclerosis, prostate disease, high blood pressure, under-active thyroid gland (hypothyroidism), alcohol, some medicines.

Psychological factors may include: unresolved problems, conflicts or issues within a sexual and emotional relationship, anxiety about sexual performance (this is most common at the start of a new relationship, if a man has had previous problems with sexual performance), depression, stress.

Your Doctor may suggest treatment for both the physical and psychological causes of impotence which may include any or some of the following; medicines, counselling, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, or sex therapy undertaken with your partner.

Medicines for erection problems should only be prescribed by a doctor and dispensed at your local Pharmacy. Medicines bought on the internet may be of poor quality and may contain ingredients that are not safe. It is important to discuss these medicines with your Pharmacist or GP to ensure that they do not have any impact on other health conditions or medications you may be on pharmacist.

Erectile dysfunction can usually be managed, so you can expect a positive result from treatment.

Men’s physical activity:

The increase in car use in Australia over the last four decades has coincided with a significant decline in physical activity in the community with activities such as walking and cycling becoming less popular as options for transport.

Men who don’t exercise are almost twice as likely to get heart disease as men who are active! Examples of exercises for the heart (otherwise known as Aerobic exercise or cardio) are running, jogging, walking and cycling. It is important that the body is moving fast enough to raise the heart rate and breathe harder, but the person doing the exercise should be able to talk to someone while they are doing it. In case of joint problems, a low-impact activity, like swimming or hiking may be a more suitable option.

Recommended exercise: At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, such as brisk walking, a minimum of 5 days a week. For men just getting started, then start off slowly, so the body can adjust then gradually build up to a more regular routine. In time, workouts can be made longer or more challenging. Please talk to your Pharmacist or GP when beginning a new exercise routine, especially after being inactive for a long time.

Benefit: Sufficient regular exercise can help reduce the risk of preventable diseases, including coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers. It can also help improve mental health by reducing stress. It can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and reduce your risk of heart attack as well as helping to improve your overall health and wellbeing.

Recommended health checks and screenings:

Excluding suicide and reckless death – 5 men die every hour in Australia – from a disease that could have been prevented through early detection!

Aged from 18 to 38:
  • Blood pressure check
  • Cholesterol screening
  • Screening for depression
  • Dental exam
  • Eye exam
  • Immunisation: seasonal flu vaccination and tetanus-diphtheria booster every 10 years
  • Skin cancer
  • Sexual health
Aged in 40’s and 50’s:
  • Blood pressure check
  • Cholesterol screening
  • Screening for depression
  • Dental exam
  • Osteoporosis
  • Glaucoma
  • Colon cancer screening
  • Prostate cancer test
  • Diabetes
  • Eye exam
  • Immunisation: seasonal flu vaccination and tetanus-diphtheria booster every 10 years
  • Skin cancer
Aged in 60’s and 70’s:
  • Blood pressure check
  • Cholesterol screening
  • Screening for depression
  • Dental exam
  • Osteoporosis
  • Glaucoma
  • Colon cancer screening
  • Prostate cancer test
  • Diabetes
  • Eye exam
  • Skin cancer

Please ask us about in-store health checks and clinics, including blood pressure check, diabetes screening as well as cholesterol and cardiovascular risk screening.

References:

Australian national health and research council

The SA Prostate Cancer Clinical Outcomes Collaborative (SAPCOCC)

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare & Australasian Association of Cancer Registries 2012.

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