It’s no secret that your physical, mental and emotional health all tie into your overall wellbeing. Therefore, to reach/maintain optimum levels of overall wellness, it pays to know about some of the hurdles you may have to overcome in the future. The following risks to health and wellbeing are ones that directly relate to men’s health, either through the biology of having male genitalia or risks that disproportionately affect men for interesting reasons.
Prostate and Testicular Cancer
One of the stereotypes of us men is that we don’t go to the doctor until it’s absolutely necessary, and to a certain extent this can be true. But you know what sucks more than asking your doctor to give you a standard check-up? Prostate and testicular cancer. It’s not just the location of cancer that’s the bad part either; it is the second most commonly occurring cancer in men behind skin cancer, with 1 in every 9 men being diagnosed with it in their lives. Out of all cancers, Prostate cancer has the second highest death toll too, with lung cancer coming in the first place.
Prostate cancer is rare in men under the age of 40, but it can still occur young and becomes more likely as you age. It can be a bit weird asking a doctor to examine everything for you, but it’s better than not finding it in time. Or if you would like to know more for yourself, click to learn more.
Obviously, anybody can suffer from cardiovascular diseases, but did you know that you might not experience symptoms until it’s really too late? It’s estimated that between 70-89% of sudden cardiac events occur in men alone, and out of all of the people to die from cardiac-related illnesses, around half had shown no previous symptoms.
In 2013, heart disease was the leading cause of death for American men, responsible for a quarter of all deaths in that year. And you don’t have to have a bad diet or be overweight either, heart disease can affect people with healthier lifestyles too. Learn what questions to ask your doctor and have monthly or yearly check-ups to monitor your health.
Depression and Suicide
This topic is becoming easier to talk about the growing awareness of mental health issues and the human experience, but we can still discuss it more openly. It turns out that while women have higher rates of being diagnosed with depression and have a slightly higher rate of suicide attempts, all over the world men have disproportionately higher rates of death by suicide. In the UK, three times as many men died from suicide than women, in countries like Australia and the U.S. it’s closer to three times as much, and in Russia and Argentina, it is four times as many.
It has been shown that we don’t discuss mental health issues with professionals as much as women do on average either. There still exists a stigma around how we as men communicate, with feelings of weakness and low self-esteem conflicting with our beliefs and ideas surrounding our masculinity and sense of self.
This can also make dealing with stress and trauma a more difficult experience. If you or a friend suffer from depression or may be more likely to consider suicide, know that this is part of the human experience and has nothing to do with how weak or strong you may be. Seek help, and practice talking with friends or family about it.
Yes, skin cancer also takes hold of a disproportionate number of men, and there may be more than one reason too. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S. and the numbers are climbing in most developed countries for men while remaining the same or dropping in many places for women.
One explanation is to do with the make-up that women wear and many men don’t. A lot of make-up features SPF ratings and provides protection from direct skin contact of sunlight. Men are less likely to use skin-care products in general, even items such as sunscreen.
Another explanation suggests that as well as using fewer protecting agents, men are also more likely to work in occupations where they are working outside in the sun.
A third explanation has been offered by researchers although there is no complete agreement over how influential it could be. It is possible that male skin cancer death rates are so much higher due simply to the makeup of our skin; we produce less melanin and have a much thinner layer of fat underneath and within the skin.
There are many different types of skin cancer, it’s important that you find out what signs to look for. Your doctor can help you look at a few but you are best monitoring them yourself and taking queries to your doctor.
This may not sound like a very powerful thing to talk about after covering heavy topics like cancer and suicide, however sexual dysfunction can have a hard effect on your overall wellbeing and sense of contentment in life. At age 40, men have a 40% chance of experiencing erectile dysfunction, with the percentage climbing as age increases. Even younger men in their twenties can experience this problem, and it can be an embarrassing experience; one that damages confidence and sometimes even relationships.
Luckily, we all know about the little blue pills you can get from the doctor in this situation, don’t we? Don’t feel embarrassed about asking your doctor for a little bit of help, and be sure to communicate to your partner about what is happening just in case they think of other reasons why it’s not rising. There are many other approaches to fixing this problem, consult with a doctor to find out more.