It’s no secret that many men hesitate to see a health care professional. However, that kind of reluctance can lead to a number of health problems down the road. Here are some of the most common men’s health issues that every man should know about.
High stress levels, a sedentary lifestyle and a poor diet can put you at risk for certain types of heart disease. But other types of heart disease simply stem from birth defects.
According to the American Heart Association, roughly one in three men suffer from cardiovascular disease in the United States. This disease is also more common in African Americans.
Some symptoms of heart disease include:
- Chest pain
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Fluttering sensation in your chest
- Numbness or weakness in your extremities
- Shortness of breath
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, notify your primary care provider right away.
Also, older men aren’t the only ones who may develop heart issues. Men who are under 45 often experience high blood pressure. If left unchecked, high blood pressure can cause severe problems, such as a heart attack or stroke.
Cancer is the most common men’s health issues. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), men have higher rates of developing and dying from skin cancer than women, specifically melanoma.
Skin cancer should be treated as early as possible. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult with your primary care provider.
- Brown spot with dark speckles
- Lesion with asymmetrical shape
- Mole that changes in size or color
- Painful lesion
If skin cancer runs in your family, you sunburn easily or have a history of irregular moles, you should be particularly vigilant.
Although skin cancer can develop on body parts that don’t get sun exposure, you should always take precautions when you’re outside. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Look for products that have at least SPF 30 and reapply as needed. In addition, wear lightweight clothes and accessories that limit sun exposure.
If you’re 50 years old or older, you should schedule routine colon cancer screenings with your primary care provider. Although it’s one of the top health risks for men, it’s easiest to treat when it’s caught early.
Some symptoms of colon cancer include:
- Blood in stool or rectal bleeding
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Pain in your abdomen
- Unexpected weight loss
Many of these symptoms can simply be signs of less severe problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). And in some cases, colon cancer can spread before you even notice the signs. With that in mind, regular screenings are very important.
Prostate cancer is another common health concern. Men over 50 should also seek a regular prostate cancer screening. About one out of every eight men develop prostate cancer, but it’s rare in people under 40 years old.
Signs of prostate cancer include:
- Blood in semen or painful ejaculation
- Blood in urine or painful urination
- Difficulty urinating or weak flow
- Pain in the pelvis or hips
These symptoms might seem like obvious signs of trouble. However, in some cases, men with prostate cancer won’t notice any symptoms.
Other common men’s health issues
Some men don’t like to talk about mental health, but they’re not immune to mental health issues. Disorders, such as depression and anxiety, are common men’s health issues. It’s important to be vocal about any problems you may be dealing with.
Lung cancer is another health risk that affects many men. Thirteen percent of men older than age 18 currently smoke cigarettes, according to the CDC. If you are a smoker, make sure you are discussing your lung cancer screening options with your health care provider.
And finally, unintentional injury is another men’s health concern. Just make sure you are doing your part to stay safe during daily activities, such as driving, performing yard work and exercising.
As you can see, there are many common men’s health issues. That is why regular checkups are so important.
Learn about all the primary care services we offer at Bon Secours.