Awareness

GETTING MEN TALKING ABOUT THEIR HEALTH…

It seems to be a sad fact of life that men, unlike women, are less willing to monitor their own health, take note of changes or potential problems and then discuss those issues with doctors or medical advisors. Perhaps there is a belief that if signs and symptoms are ignored, they will go away. Or maybe some consider it is not macho to keep bothering GPs about little aches, pains, lumps and bumps. This thought process can be worse if a man’s concerns are about his private parts and how they are working – or not working as the case may be. Ignoring developing problems in this area, as well as other parts of the body, can become very serious.

One example is that of prostate cancer…

“It’s OK, it is only prostate cancer, they can treat that very easily these days,” is a common misconception. It is true that the treatments for this disease are improving all the time and, when caught early enough, the success rate is very good indeed – but we need to help more men to catch it early enough!

Every year in the UK, there are more than 40,000 men diagnosed with this particular disease, and more than 10,000 of men die from it. The sad thing is, many of those deaths could have been avoided. So, the men who ignore pain in the genitals, peeing and erection problems, passing blood in the urine or other goings-on in the nether regions, might be dramatically shortening their lives.

For more information on prostate and many other cancers please see our Male Health Information page.  Here working with other charities and providing links to their sources of information, we aim to make blue ribbons and the Blue Ribbon Foundation a rallying point for male cancer and health problems and, as such, a very good starting point for specialised help!

Being told you have a serious condition or cancer is a terrible moment in anybody’s life – but it does not have to be the last moment.

Another example is testicular cancer…

Testicular cancer – cancer of the testicles – is fortunately quite rare. In the UK, about 2,200 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer every year. It is most commonly found in the age range 15 to 45.  Treatments are usually very successful with survival rates at 96%.

The most common symptom of testicular cancer is a painless lump or swelling in/on the testicles. Other symptoms can include a dull ache in the scrotum (the sac of skin that contains the testicles) or a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum.

Men with concerns about their testicles should see their GPs as soon as possible and discuss all the facts and symptoms. Early diagnosis increases the likelihood of successful treatment.

See: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cancer-of-the-testicle/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Finally, check out these important, but worrying male health facts… We believe all of them can be improved!

  • Men are much more likely to die for potentially avoidable causes than woman – for example, 28% of men die from avoidable conditions like heart disease compared with 17% of women in England and Wales
  • Coronary heart disease kills far more men than women (1 in 6 men, compared with 1 in 10 women), and on average men develop it 7-10 years earlier.
  • One-third of men in England do not achieve recommended levels of physical activity.
  • Men are more likely than women to drink alcohol above recommended levels, smoke cigarettes and eat a poor diet.  More than a third of men drink over the recommended alcohol limit.
  • The proportion of men who are overweight (including obese) is 65% in England, compared to 58% of women.  Just under a quarter of men are obese, which is associated with a whole range of health problems.
  • Men visit their GP far less frequently than women – some research suggests men go only half as often as women

So, come on men, women, wives, partners, family and friends, we are all in this together! Let’s all do our bit to improve these statistics.

Ignoring any health concerns of any individual, male or female, can have a devastating effect on lots of people. Burying heads in the sand and hoping things will improve by themselves is not an option!