ONE of Warrington’s top doctors wants to highlight the signs and symptoms men need to be aware of this Men’s Health Week.
Running from June 14 to 20, the event looks to raise awareness of the health issues impacting men and provide vital information.
One man in five dies before the age of 65, but with more education, awareness, and support, this is something that can change.
That is why Dr Rono Mukherjee, consultant urologist at Spire Cheshire Hospital in Stretton, has answered a few of frequently asked questions about the risk of cancer for men, signs, symptoms and prevention.
Q. What are the urinary symptoms that men over the age of 40 should look out for?
A. Men over the age of 40 are at risk of prostate cancer, especially if there is a family history of the disease, such as a father or brother who has been diagnosed under the age of 65.
The key symptoms to be aware of are the increasing frequency and urge to urinate, needing to wake up to pass urine in the middle of the night, reduced flow of urine and difficulty in starting to pass urine, as well as leakage of urine with loss of control.
Blood in the urine and recurring urine infections should also be taken seriously.
These symptoms are not just signs of potential prostate cancer, but could be evidence of bladder or kidney cancer, especially when blood is present.
The risk of benign, non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate can also cause these symptoms that will greatly impact a man’s quality of life and require treatment.
Q. If I am experiencing these symptoms, what should I do?
A. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is important that you get checked out by your GP who may refer you to a urologist.
It is so easy for men to ignore symptoms like this and choose to carry on as normal, but in doing so they put themselves further at risk.
As with any cancer, the earlier it is detected, the more chance you have of treating it successfully. I cannot stress enough how important it is to take the warning signs seriously.
It can also help to reduce your intake of tea and coffee and avoid drinking fluids too late at night if you are experiencing an increased need to urinate.
Q. Who needs to do testicular self-examinations, and how do I do one?
A. Every single adult male needs to be doing regular checks of their testicles to check for signs of testicular cancer, which is one of the most curable cancers when caught early.
We recommend you do this at least monthly, perhaps in the shower or bath, and simply feel each testicle with your thumb and fingers to look for any unusual lumps.
Lumps may be small and are usually quite firm, like hard rubber.
If you do feel something unusual, make sure you get seen by your GP or a urologist, who will likely send you for an ultrasound.
Q. Is erectile dysfunction something to be concerned about?
A. Erectile dysfunction is a quality of life issue which can be treated.
In young men, erectile dysfunction can happen quite suddenly and can be associated with psychological reasons such as stress.
If you are experiencing this, speak to your GP who will be able to help you get to the root cause and provide you with treatment.
In men aged 40 and above, erectile dysfunction is more likely to be slow in onset and gradually deteriorate.
It can be the first sign of potential heart problems, diabetes, and other conditions, including enlarging prostate and less commonly prostate cancer.
Your GP may carry out a well-man check, including an examination, as well as blood tests for cholesterol, blood sugar, thyroid, liver, prostate and male hormone levels to ensure any underlying cause is discovered before recommending treatment or referring you to a urologist.
Dr Mukherjee added: “My advice to men is to simply take their health seriously.
“Make note of these symptoms and do not hesitate to speak to someone if you or your partner are even slightly concerned.
“Ignoring symptoms can be dangerous, and any health professional would rather take the time to speak to you about them as well as examine you.
“We would rather make sure it is a false alarm than miss vital warning signs with the opportunity to prevent a serious disease. Get checked out.”
Spire Cheshire Hospital has a team of passionate urologists who are experts in all things related to men’s health. To find out more, visit bit.ly/3iyh1Bf