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 30,000 men diagnosed with this particular disease and more than 10,000 of them 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 2,000 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer every year. It is most commonly found in the age range 15 to 44. Approximately 70 men die from the disease each year in the UK. Treatments are usually very successful with survival rates over 95%.
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.
Finally, check out these important, but worrying male health facts… We believe almost all of them can be improved!
- 40% of men die prematurely - before the age of 75.
- Unskilled manual men have a life expectancy of 73 and in some parts of England, it is as low as 66.
- Male death rates are significantly affected by social deprivation and unemployment.
- Coronary heart disease kills more men than women and on average men develop it 10-15 years earlier.
- Men are 60% more likely than women to develop a non sex-specific cancer and are 70% more likely to die from the disease.
- Men are more likely to drink alcohol above recommended levels, smoke cigarettes and eat a poor diet.
- By 2015, 36% of men will be obese and, by 2025, only 13% will have a healthy body mass index.
- Men visit their GP 20% less frequently than women and are also much less likely to have regular dental check-ups or to use community pharmacies as a source of advice and information about health.
- NHS smoking cessation programmes are less well used by men than women - as are weight management services and health trainers.
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!