Just like October was all about the dangers of breast cancer and how to protect yourself, November is all about the guys. November is officially Men’s Health Awareness month. Oh, by the way, guys, breast cancer isn’t just for women. While not as common, it CAN happen in men. The BRCA Gene test can help identify if you are at risk.
So Why Do Men Need Screenings?
Men have health-related issues that are specifically generated from their hormone levels, and men’s specific body parts. Today we are going to be talking about male-only cancers. Namely testicular and prostate cancers. These are definitely cancers that women cannot get, but they do have some reproductive health issues as well – as we learned last month.
Testicular cancer is most common in males aged 15 to 35. According to the American Cancer Society, the rate of testicular cancer has been on the rise in recent decades in the US and other countries. Experts are not sure what is causing the increase. Although testicular cancer is relatively uncommon, only 1 in every 250 males will develop it in their lifetime, early detection is always the key to beating cancer. The sooner it is caught, the better your chances of survival. In addition to self-exam, getting a male health panel done at IPE Screening will help rule out the presence of testicular cancer.
While testicular cancer is a younger man’s cancer, prostate cancer is more common in older males. Starting at age 50 the risk for prostate cancer starts increasing dramatically. 60% of prostate cancer cases are in males 65 and older. After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the 2nd most common cancer found in men. As part of men’s health awareness, familiarize yourself with the following symptoms:
- Burning or pain during urination
- Difficulty urinating, or trouble starting and stopping while urinating
- More frequent urges to urinate at night
- Loss of bladder control
- Decreased flow or velocity of the urine stream
- Blood in the urine (hematuria)
- Blood in semen
- Erectile dysfunction
- Painful ejaculation
Any of these symptoms could indicate prostate cancer, or they could be caused by another health condition. Be sure to discuss them with your physician. Unfortunately, not everyone who develops prostate cancer experiences symptoms. Fortunately, there is a blood test that can detect it. It is called a PSA blood test. This is part of the male health panel available at IPE Screening.
Another important focus of men’s health awareness is mental health. Discussing mental health is a big struggle in this country for anyone. We are struggling as a country to overcome the social taboo. But because of the way our society is structured, men’s mental health issues are even more taboo. Men, generally, do NOT discuss their feelings. The only feeling men are usually comfortable expressing is anger. Men are supposed to be stoic and emotional rock. You have people depending on you. That increases the pressure. Perhaps you lost your job due to the Pandemic. Or it has been difficult adjusting to having everyone home all the time. Trying to do your job while the kids are running around the house screaming because they are going stir crazy from virtual/home-schooling. This has been a rough couple of years for everyone. Unfortunately, a lot of men turn to self-medication to deal with the pressures. This is not the answer. Please talk to someone. A friend, a pastor, or a medical professional that can help you.
Although November highlights men’s health awareness, it really should be a year-round thing. The sooner medical issues are identified, the easier they are to deal with and conquer. Call IPE Screening today to schedule your male health panel blood test to rule out prostate and testicular cancers and to identify any other concerning issues.