Men’s Health Week 12-18 June  

Highlighting specifically in this blog, four types of Men’s Health that are highlighted in this awareness week including; Prostate Cancer, Testicular Cancer, Penile Cancer and Male Breast Cancer.  Let’s look at these cancers.

Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer is a walnut-sized gland which is located behind the man’s penis, in front of the rectum and below the bladder. The main function of prostate is to make seminal fluid, the liquid within semen, that protects, supports and helps transform sperm.

The cancer begins when healthy cells in the prostate change and grow out of control which forms a tumour. This can spread and become cancerous.

Symptoms that you should look out for regarding prostate cancer include; producing frequent urine, blood in the urine, the urge to urinate at a frequent rate during the night, pain during urination, unexplained weight loss, swelling in legs/feet, fatigue, change in bowel habits and pain in bones such as; hips, thighs, shoulders, back and others.

Prostate cancer is a generic family condition and can run in the family, so if there are any signs check if anyone in your family has been diagnosed. Age is a key factor, the risk of having prostate cancer increase with age especially for those aged 50 and over. More than 80% of prostate cancers are diagnosed to those aged 65 and above. Black males have a higher risk of prostate cancer than white males.

Testicular Cancer

Most types of testicular cancer begin developing in the man’s sperm producing cell which is known are germ cells.

Symptoms include; a dull ache in the lower abdomen or groin, sudden buildup of fluid within the scrotum, lower back and chest pains, pain or swelling on or in either testicle, a change in the way that your testicles feel and if you have a shortness of breath.

Prevention is knowing the symptoms and when to take action, carry out regular checks and visit your GP to prevent any further damage at an early stage.

Penile Cancer

This form of cancer begins when healthy cells change and grow out of control. Within the penis other tumours can develop which are not cancerous. These tumours have the ability to grow but cannot spread.

Signs to watch; change in the colour of the penis, skin thickening on the penis, persistent discharge with a foul odour beneath the foreskin, blood coming from the tip of the penis or underneath the foreskin, unexplainable pain in the shaft of tip of the penis, small and crusty bumps beneath the foreskin, swollen lymph nodes in the groin, irregular swelling at the end of the penis.

Factors that increase diagnosis include; smoking, especially in men who are also affected with HPV, age, penile cancer occurs to men who are older than 50, black males are also more likely to develop penile cancer. Also, if you received the drug psoralen combined with ultraviolet light then there is a higher chance of developing penile cancer.

Circumcising the penis may provide some protection as removal of the foreskin will help keep the tip of the penis clean. Keeping a good personal hygiene is key as men who carefully clean beneath the foreskin on a regular basis can reduce their risk of developing the illness. Finally, your lifestyle factors, not smoking and avoiding sexual practises that could lead to an HPV or HIV/AIDS can help lower the risk of penile cancer.

Male Breast Cancer

Ductal and Lobular carcinoma. Breast cancer begins when healthy cells change and grow out of control. Breast cancer commonly spreads to the regional lymph nodes. The regional nodes are located under the arm, in the neck, under the chest bone, or just above the collarbone. It commonly spreads to the bones, lungs, and liver.

Symptoms include; a lump that feels like a hard knot or thickening in the breast or under the arm.  As men generally have small amounts of breast tissue, it is easier to feel a small lump.  Also monitor any new irregularity on the skin or nipple, such as redness, scaliness, puckering, or a discharge from the nipple.

Some factors to consider, the average age for men to be diagnosed is 65. Previous family members diagnosed, it is likely that you could be a carrier of that gene too.

Your lifestyle factors can play a part in the chances of you developing breast cancer. Being obese or over weight increases your risk of breast cancer and lack of exercise. Exercise lowers hormone levels, alters metabolism and boosts the immune system. Increased activity will if done consistently reduce the risk of your developing breast cancer.

 

Don take any of these cancers for granted if you have any of these symptoms don’t hesitate to see your GP. You can be a hero for all men!