While several ailments afflict both men and women equally, there are some that are either gender-specific or simply more prevalent in one than the other. Prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction, for example, are concerns faced exclusively by men. Compared with women, men also tend to pay less attention to risks and warning signs, which is why it's important for them to educate themselves on the following common health threats.
According to Zero Cancer, “one in every nine men will be diagnosed with [prostate cancer] at some point during his lifetime.” In fact, aside from skin cancer, it's this cancer that men are likeliest to develop. Warning signs can be subtle, but the most prevalent ones include burning or pain during urination, more frequent urination (especially at night), blood in urine or semen, and painful ejaculation.
In some men, the disease may progress slowly enough as to not require treatment, only close monitoring known as "watchful surveillance.” Other treatment options vary, but hormone therapy can be beneficial, as can radiation and chemotherapy in advanced cases.
This is another common health threat and one that can be faced at any age, although it's likelier to be an issue for men over the age of 40. According to MD Proactive, “erectile dysfunction is more common in Hispanic men and those who have a history of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and smoking. Lifestyle choices that impair blood circulation can contribute to erectile dysfunction.”
Tips for avoidance include cutting back on alcohol, engaging in foreplay with your partner, and reducing your daily stress levels. Medications such as Viagra and Cialis are suitable for use as a "safety net," but these can also cause unwanted side effects.
As many as one in three men are living with some form of cardiovascular disease, according to data from the American Heart Association. Studies have also shown that heart disease-related deaths of African-American outnumber those of their Caucasian counterparts by as many as 100,000 per year. High cholesterol and blood pressure are contributing factors, and men who smoke are also more susceptible, as the heart must work harder to counterbalance the effects of damaged lungs.
To prevent heart-related complications, cut back on red meat and full-fat dairy. According to Hopkins Medicine, “metabolic syndrome (which includes high blood sugar levels, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and too much weight in the midsection) and diabetes are leading risk factors for heart disease.” If you smoke, now is the time to quit. Attempt to get in at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, five days a week. Overweight individuals should attempt to get their body mass index (BMI) down to 25 or lower.
If you eat a healthy diet, remain active, and educate yourself on the early warning signs of these common concerns, you're headed in the right direction. While there are never any guarantees, it's always best to be proactive when it comes to health.