Movember is the Men’s Health Awareness Month

02 November 2016

Movember is an international initiative to address men’s health issues. According to Movember “Our cause: to prevent men dying young”. But why do men around the world die early? There are many causes, some are related to men’s Y chromosome and testosterone levels, which makes them less risk averse and other causes relate to the society, culture and habits. The good news is that more and more men are becoming aware and coming forward to see their doctor.

If you are a man, you should perform a self-examination to check yourself and if you live with a man, encourage him to check himself.

What can you do if you are a man or if you are concerned about the health of your man?

1. Prevent health problems, attention to Diet and Exercise:
Well to start with always remember obesity is the biggest risk factor for all cancers, heart diseases, strokes, joint problems and many more health conditions. Having a healthy diet and regular exercise prevents many problems. Prevention is always better than treatment.

2. Find it early, self-examination for testicular lumps.
The majority of the lumps in the scrotum are benign and harmless but some are due to testicular cancer. Testicular cancer tends to affect younger boys and men and is treatable. If in any doubt you should see your doctor. Early detection of testicular tumors increases the potential to treat or cure, and resume a healthy, happy lifestyle.

3. Do not suffer in silence, problems in peeing.
Problems with urination are common in men and usually due to benign prostatic enlargement or over active bladder. Urinary symptoms affect a man’s quality of life. If you have such symptoms like frequent micturition, slowing of stream, dribbling of urine etc. you should seek advice promptly from your doctor. Your doctor may offer you a PSA test to detect the possibility of prostate cancer. Do read the patient information literature before having the PSA test. You may also need a urine test and a rectal examination. For the majority of problems related to passing urine, a tablet or two a day may be all you will need.

4. You never get too old to enjoy sex! Sex related problems
Problems with ejaculation and erection are quite common in men. Additionally men may sometimes pass blood in the semen. Assessment and treatment by your doctor or an Urologist will be needed. Remember problems with erections in a young or middle aged man may herald future heart problems. So do not delay seeing your doctor.

5. Problems with foreskin
Tightness and a sore foreskin is a common problem in men at all ages. Many of these can be treated by your doctor by skin creams. However a substantial proportion of men eventually need surgical treatment. This may include circumcision, preputioplasty or frenuloplasty. Bleeding or ulceration of foreskin may indicate a more serious problem.

6. Blood in urine/vomiting/phlegm or stools
If you report passing blood in your urine to your doctor, you will be referred to your local hospital for an urgent appointment and tests within 2 weeks. Clearly serious underlying problems will need to be excluded.

7. Stress and mental health problems
Stress is very common in modern age. Stress can overwhelm many men and lead to further problems. It is important for a man to recognize if they are unduly stressed and take remedial steps. Talking to someone close is first recommended step. Expert help may be required if the problem is not resolved.

So tell all your friends and family Movember is here!

Mr Shiv Bhanot is a Consultant Urological Surgeon at Spire Roding Hospital and holds clinics on Mon, Tue, Thu pm and Sat am

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