Stroke and heart disease, colon and lung cancer, are big issues men and women share. In honor of men’s health month; let’s talk about the issues, big and small, men and the people who love them, and what they should know about.
: To PSA or not to PSA? What should not get lost in the debate over the PSA blood test is that prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, behind only lung cancer. When and how often to get a prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening test is an individual discussion you need to have with your doctor. The benefits of screening for prostate cancer are uncertain, and the balance of benefits and harms cannot be determined and here is my previous blog on PSA screening
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) or enlarged prostate
: This is not prostate cancer but rather a large prostate that starts to cause symptoms. Half of men, over 50, will experience symptoms related to BPH at some point: urinary frequency during the day, and night and urinary retention being the most common. Luckily there are several options for medications and surgical interventions, if symptoms become bothersome, so be a squeaky wheel.
: This is the most common cause of male infertility. Varicoceles have been found in 15% of the normal male population and in up to 40% of patients with male infertility. Varicoceles occur primarily on the left side and are diagnosed on examination or by ultrasound. If infertility is an issue varicocele repair has evolved significantly over the past several decades.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
: This is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance. ED is the most common sexual problem in men; it often causes serious distress, prompting men to seek medical attention they may not otherwise seek. It can have a profound effect on intimate relationships, quality of life, and overall self-esteem. Causes of ED are either organic (vascular, neurogenic, hormonal, anatomic, drug-induced,) psychological, or a combination of both. The good news is that options for treatment exist, so ask your doc.
Male pattern baldness
: Male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, accounts for more than 95% of hair loss in men. By age 35, two-thirds of American men will have some degree of noticeable hair loss, and by age 50 approximately 85% of men have significantly thinning hair. What is really distressing is that a quarter of men who suffer from male pattern baldness begin the painful process before the age of 21. Only two FDA approved medications exist for treatment: Rogaine (Minoxidil) and Finasteride (Propecia).
: Prostatitis accounts for 8 percent of visits to urologists, and up to 1 percent of visits to primary care physicians. Prostatitis is a broad diagnosis that includes acute illness requiring immediate attention (acute bacterial prostatitis,) and two chronic conditions (chronic bacterial prostatitis, chronic pelvic pain syndrome.)
: is of importance because its incidence has been increasing in most countries over the past four decades. Although it accounts for only 1-2% of all tumors in men, it is the most common malignancy in young men. Testicular self-examination and physician exam, especially between the ages of 20-35, is the only “screening” that exists.
Seborrheic dermatitis or “beard rash”
: This is the red flaky skin men can get around their beard, eyebrows, scalp and mustache. It is more common in men than women because sebaceous glands are under androgen control. This is easy to treat and involved areas of the face may be washed frequently with shampoos that are effective against seborrhea with Selsun Blue, Head and Shoulders, being common examples.
X-linked inherited disorders
: When the gene causing a disorder is located on the X chromosome, it will affect men more often than women. Examples are: Red-green Color blindness, hemophilia A, and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. X-linked diseases occur more often in males than females because males have only one X chromosome (XY) so it takes just a single recessive gene on that X chromosome to cause the disease.
: Cluster headaches are more common in men than women with a 4 to 1 ratio. They usually start suddenly with pain located behind or around one eye and are very severe. The eye and nose on the same side as the pain may become red, swollen and runny. These headaches are frightening and are treated much differently than tension or migraine headaches, so go see your doctor.
What did I miss?
- Dr. O
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