Male Health News June 2016

Exercise likely to improve memory

man-21136_1920Scientists have identified that exercise triggers a protein that improves brain cell growth.

As reported in the Telegraph, researchers from the National Institute on Aging in the US identify that when exercised, muscles produce cathepsin B, a protein which increases neuron cell growth in the brain.

Dr Henriette van Prag, senior author of the study, said that people are more likely to see the benefits with a consistent exercise regime: “In humans who exercise consistently for four months, better performance on complex recall tasks, such as drawing from memory” is associated with increased levels of the protein.

This study offers further evidence of the benefits of keeping fit and regular exercise. As we move into the summer, why not take advance of the sunshine, and get outside for a walk, run, cycle, swim or other healthy activity to get your muscles moving and heart pumping? You’ll be more likely to remember the benefits too…

(June 24th 2016)


NHS approves use of immunotherapy skin cancer drugs

sun-protection-224274_1920A pair of treatments that use the body’s own immune system to fight skin cancer will be offered by the NHS in England.

Malignant melanoma is the most common form of skin cancer in the UK, and the seventh most common cancer in the UK for men, according to Cancer Research UK. As reported by BBC News, the two drugs, ipilimumab and nivolumab, help the body overcome the means by which tumours ‘hide’ from the immune system, allowing for the natural defences to attack these cancers. In one of the fastest decisions to approve the drugs in NHS history, these drugs represent part of the emerging field of immunotherapy, and have demonstrated significant impacts on extending the life of people with advanced melanoma, though with significant side effects.

Gill Nuttall, the founder of Melanoma UK, was quoted by the BBC as saying: “Today’s decision is hugely significant for patients.”

It’s vital to be aware about the risks of skin cancer, and to be able to identify key signs and symptoms. You can find more information from sources such Melanoma UK, the British Skin Foundation, or Cancer Research UK.

(17th June 2016)


Men’s Health Week: 13th – 19th June

mhw2016_joggers800It’s Men’s Health Week from Monday, so there has never been a better time to consider your own health and wellbeing, as well as that of your fellow men!

This year, the theme is on how you can bet stress. 1 in 4 people develop a mental health problem over their lifetime, and stress can often be a contributing factor. Men’s Health Week is organised by the Men’s Health Forum, who have released a set of useful resources to help men talk about stress and share ways to beat mental health problems.

As we reported earlier this year, the Forum makes clear what the risks of stress are in their Beat Stress, Feel Better booklet. These can include:

  • damage to your immune system and heart
  • increased chances of other health problems
  • reduced life expectancy
  • damage to your sex life

The Men’s Health Forum is also offering a confidential support service for men via text or email called Beat Stress.

Why not take this opportunity to talk about stress with your friends and family, as well as give and receive support?

(10th June 2016)


Having a large waistline increases risk of prostate cancer

belt-91321_1920Having a 10cm larger waistline could increase chances of developing prostate cancer by 13%, and men with 94cm or bigger waists are at highest risk, say Oxford researchers.

Funded by Cancer Research UK, the University of Oxford researchers studied almost 150,000 men over 14 years and across 8 European countries. This found that an extra 10cm on the waist was associated with a 13% increased risk of prostate cancer, and an 18% rise in fatal disease. As reported by a range of news outlets including the Telegraph, while the risk of many cancers are linked to obesity, the ‘beer belly’ appears to have a clear impact on prostate cancer. Dr Aurora Perez-Cornago, lead author of the study suggested that the extra waist weight may affect production of the hormones that can contribute to prostate cancer.

If you are worried about your risk of prostate cancer, or have been diagnosed and would like information or help, you can find more details on our information page. Likewise, support is available from charities such as Cancer Research UK and Prostate Cancer UK.

(3rd June 2016)