April 17, 2024

5 common health conditions men don’t like to talk about

Some of the most common conditions affecting men carry a social stigma but are highly treatable. Learn about the top 5 health conditions men should be talking about.

Men should not let fear or embarrassment prevent them from discussing their health concerns with each other or their health care provider.

Men’s health risks can increase with age. Learning early warning signs of serious health conditions is vital. Information about health issues can even be lifesaving. Men sometimes don't talk about their health. They keep quiet at times because of culture, attitude, fear, or pride.

Here is information about 5 health conditions.

Screenings are key for prostate cancer

One in 8 men will face a prostate cancer diagnosis, and the majority are 65 and older. Men 50 and older should be checked for prostate cancer. Men with prostate cancer in their family should talk to their doctor and start getting screened at 45.

Some men may feel uneasy about health screenings, such as digital rectal exams. Regular exams are important. Prostate cancer often does not have symptoms in its earliest stages. Some signs of prostate cancer may include problems urinating or blood in urine.

Colorectal cancer affects men and women

Colorectal cancer, or colon cancer, is one of the most treatable cancers when detected and treated early. If you are between 45 and 49, talk with your doctor or care team to request a FIT kit. Colon cancer screening is recommended starting at age 45 for people at average risk; earlier if you’re high risk.

Most cases of colon cancer come from precancerous polyps that don’t cause symptoms for a long time. People with a family history of colon cancer are at increased risk. Taking steps to understand your unique risk can help with early detection.

Testicular cancer is most common in young men

The most common cancer in men 20 to 34 years old is testicular cancer. This cancer can also affect children and older men as well.

Unfortunately, social stigma can be a barrier to men discussing testicular cancer. Self-examination is important. The first symptoms can include a lump or swelling in the scrotum that may or may not be painful. Other symptoms may also be present, such as a feeling of heaviness in the lower abdomen.

When found early and before it has spread, testicular cancer is highly treatable.

ED may be a warning sign

Erectile dysfunction, or ED, describes difficulty achieving or keeping an erection. Some men may not be comfortable discussing ED even though it is often treatable. ED is often a sign of other health issues, including heart disease or diabetes.

ED is especially prevalent in men over 40 and those with diabetes. If untreated, ED can cause a loss of intimacy in a relationship. ED can also contribute to emotional distress.

Consult your doctor if there are concerns about ED.

Men and breast cancer

Men can develop breast cancer just like women. Men may feel embarrassed discussing a lump or swelling on the breast. Men with a family history of breast cancer, such as a mother or sister with the disease, are at increased risk.

Common symptoms of breast cancer include a lump or swelling under the arm, a rash around the nipple, nipple discharge, or pain in the nipple area. Men who have any of these symptoms should consult their doctor.

If left untreated, breast cancer can spread to other parts of the body.

Men should not let fear or embarrassment prevent them from discussing their health concerns.

Regular health maintenance and checkups are important. Identifying problems early can prevent them from developing into more serious problems.

Learn more about preventive care at Kaiser Permanente.