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Five overlooked health problems that men should never ignore

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Statistics show that when it comes to health, men are less likely to admit an illness or seek medical assistance when they are ill.

But in Ireland, men have a life expectancy of almost four years shorter than women, so it is imperative that men get clues about their health problems and the support available.

Each year, Men’s Health Week (June 14-20) raises awareness of health issues affecting men, helps them identify their problems, and encourages them to seek the help they need. Is aimed at.

To commemorate this opportunity, we asked health professionals to identify and explain some of the important warning signs that men often overlook. This is what they had to say …

1. Abnormal changes to the testicles

“Although awareness of cancer symptoms is constantly increasing, one in four men can’t remember the last time they checked their testicles for signs of cancer,” said a radiologist. Julia Ross says.

“Testicular cancer is one of the most treatable cancers, and it is very important to check yourself regularly, as most men will recover completely, especially if detected and treated early. ”

She continues. “The most common symptoms to watch out for are swelling and hard lumps in the testicles, but you may also notice a sensation of scrotal tension, scrotal pain and fluids, and dull abdominal pain.

“It can be difficult to remember all the symptoms, so I always advise people to” check the cancer CUP “and be aware of” unexplained or persistent changes. ” ”

2. Blood in the stool

If you notice blood in your stool, be sure to see your doctor. Photo: iStock / PA
If you notice blood in your stool, be sure to see your doctor. Photo: iStock / PA

“Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in Ireland, but when detected and treated early, 95% of people survive for at least five years, and early diagnosis is key,” Ross said. I will.

One in seven men says it’s embarrassing to talk to a medical professional about symptoms such as rectal bleeding, poop blood, and changes in toilet habits. This is some of the major symptoms of bowel cancer.

“That’s not what we want to talk about, but it’s really important to keep an eye on the symptoms of colorectal cancer and talk to medical professionals about their concerns, especially as we get older,” Ross says.

3. Erectile dysfunction

“Erectile dysfunction (ED) is when a man cannot get or maintain an erection that is strong enough to have a satisfying sex,” says GP Catherine Bassford.

ED always affects 1 in 10 men. “But less than one in three people sought help from medical professionals about this condition, affecting men’s self-esteem and relationships, and even contributing to parting.”

Dr. Bassford adds: “This topic is embarrassing for men to discuss, but it is important to raise concerns about ED to doctors.

“There are many ED solutions that can help men get their sex life back on track, one of which can be a prescription drug, but ED can help with high blood pressure, cholesterol, depression and more. It can be a sign of an underlying health problem, such as a mental health problem such as anxiety, so it is very important to see a doctor rather than ignore the problem. ”

4. Penis secretions

Dr. Bassford said: “Sexually transmitted diseases are not symptomatic in all cases, but men should be aware of the warning signs and consult a doctor if they notice any abnormalities or are worried that they may have been infected with STI. need to do it.

Men who have sex with gay, bisexual, or men are at increased risk of gonorrhea. But heterosexual men should also be vigilant, she says.

“If you have a sexually transmitted disease, it is very important not to ignore the symptoms. You may experience penile or lower irritation, pain, abnormal secretions, or pain when urinating. In some cases, such as herpes, there may be visible pain around the genitals and anus. It is embarrassing and difficult to talk to a doctor about these symptoms, but don’t hesitate. There are many home-based test kits available to test for sexually transmitted diseases. ”

5. Most of the time I feel anxious or sad

More than one in three men delay or avoid seeking help with mental health symptoms. Photo: PA
More than one in three men delay or avoid seeking help with mental health symptoms. Photo: PA

“Studies show that more than one in three men delay or avoid seeking help with mental health symptoms such as depression and anxiety. One in ten men say,” Mental health. “The problem is a sign of weakness,” says psychiatrist Dr. Pablo Vandenavire. ..

“But early diagnosis improves outcomes, so it’s very important for anyone worried about mental health to seek help from a medical professional.”

Vandenabeele adds:

“Mild anxiety can sometimes help, for example, to be alert or to perform important tasks at work, but if it interferes with normal life. It will be a problem.

“You may be frustrated, have difficulty concentrating, have a violent heartbeat, have stomach butterflies, dizziness, or numbness in your fingers or toes.”

If you are worried about depression or anxiety, talk to your GP. Your GP will recommend the mental health service that is right for you.

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