4 Things Men Should Know About Their Health

Across the country, men are retiring their razors for 30 days and raising money through Movember to increase awareness and funds for Prostate Cancer, and multiple organizations are committing resources to other important men’s health issues.

Whether you are a man yourself or you have an important man in your life, here are four important things to know about men’s health and wellness.

1. Younger men are being diagnosed with Prostate Cancer.

The number of younger men diagnosed with prostate cancer has increased nearly six-fold in the past 20 years. So what increases your risk? A family history of prostate cancer and African ancestry can be indicators that you may have a higher than average risk of developing prostate cancer.

What men should know:

Get a baseline Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test starting at age 40.

There’s no harm in knowing your number! PSA results should then be discussed with a specialist who can provide guidance on how to follow up and what to look for.

Know your family’s medical history.

Knowing your medical history is as important as knowing your PSA result. Men with a brother or father with a history of prostate cancer are twice as likely. For younger men, the risk is even higher if multiple relatives have a history of prostate cancer.

African-Canadian men have the highest risk for prostate cancer.

This group is sixty per cent more likely to develop prostate cancer and 2.5 times more likely to die from it than any other male demographic. Further, African-Canadian men are generally diagnosed at a younger age (about three years younger) and are more likely to have high-grade or aggressive tumours.

Learn more at cancer.ca/prostate

2. Men who exercise regularly may reduce age-related cholesterol.

High cholesterol puts men at a greater risk for heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease. While genetics do play a role in the development of high cholesterol, lifestyle choices such as unhealthy eating, lack of exercise, smoking, and excessive alcohol intake are all risk factors for developing high cholesterol.

According to a study by researchers at the University of South Carolina, higher levels of physical fitness correlate with lower levels of cholesterol as men age.

3. Male menopause is real.

It’s not just women! Many men experience symptoms similar to menopause, like low sex drive, hot flashes, depression, mood swings, increased body fat and decreased energy. Male menopause, which is known as andropause, is the result of a gradual decrease in testosterone.

If a man is experiencing these symptoms, he should speak with his physician. Learn more about low testosterone here.

4. Different ages require different health screenings.

As we age, our healthcare needs change making it even more important to ensure a proper screening.

For men in their 30s

  • Complete physical every two years
  • Blood pressure check annually
  • Cancer screenings for thyroid, testicles, lymph nodes, mouth, and skin every 3 years
  • Cholesterol test for total LDL, HDL every 3 years
  • Testicular self-exam every month

For men in their 40s

  • Blood pressure check annually
  • Cancer screening for thyroid, testicles, lymph nodes, mouth, and skin every 3 years
  • Cholesterol test for total LDL, HDL every 3 years
  • Testicular self-exam every month
  • Baseline PSA test and a digital rectal exam (DRE)
  • Complete physical every 2 years
  • Stool test for colon and rectal cancers annually

For men in their 50s+ 

  • Blood pressure check annually
  • Cancer screening for thyroid, testicles, lymph nodes, mouth, and skin every 3 years
  • Cholesterol test for total LDL, HDL every 3 years
  • Testicular self-exam every month
  • A sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy every 3 to 4 years or as recommended by a physician to check for colon cancer
  • PSA and DRE tests each year
  • Annual physical
*This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of your primary care physician. As always, speak to your healthcare team to determine the best course of action for you.