Men need to know it’s healthy to talk

When you think of “men’s health”, what do you think of?  Prostate cancer, physical injury? What about heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, osteoporosis? Have you ever had a chat with your GP about losing your hair, or things downstairs not working like they used to? As a General Practitioner, I talk about these things every day, writes Dr Paul Welsman.

Men’s health is anything that affects males at any age. It starts with talking to trusted people such as family or friends or your doctor. Would you be surprised to know that for many men, there are days they don’t want to go to work or are not sure how to be a good father?

These are all things that I talk about every day in my role as a General Practitioner.

It’s Healthy to Talk is the latest campaign from Andrology Australia, the peak body for the study of male diseases especially the reproductive organs.

Andrology Australia believes if men are willing to talk more about their health then we will improve it.

Men need to catch up. The average life expectancy of 80 is still much less than that of women at 84.

Common conditions such as ischaemic heart disease (leading to heart attack), liver diseases and lung cancer still kill more men than women.

Three times as many men than women will kill themselves.

Did you know 40 per cent of men aged 40 and over have trouble in the bedroom?

This includes lower sex drive, physical performance and sexual satisfaction. Importantly, this can be an early sign of wider health issues as problems in the blood supply to the penis may indicate problems in blood vessels around organs such as the kidneys or heart.

Premature ejaculation – What is normal? Are you worried? I can tell you that if takes longer than one minute to ejaculate then everything is normal.

Guys of all ages commonly experience this condition and there are plenty of options available.

Do you check your balls? As a GP we rely on you to do this regularly and let us know if you fell any lumps or any abnormality in the case of testicular cancer.

It’s a quick process and is easily done in the shower. It is described here https://andrologyaustralia.org/wp-content/uploads/Factsheet_TesticularCancer.pdf.

Prostate cancer is also a cancer that is talked about a lot.

Most men will “die with it, not from it”. Many guys will develop benign growth of the prostate with problems with their urine stream.

Prostate cancer doesn’t tend to cause symptoms. Now we perform a blood test called prostate specific antigen (PSA) however it is far from perfect.

If you are 50, or someone in your family has prostate cancer or if you’re concerned please come in and have a discussion.

Read this great fact sheet on your way in https://www.racgp.org.au/download/Documents/Guidelines/prostate-cancer-screening-infosheetpdf.pdf

 – Dr Paul Welsman is a GP at the Stratford Medical Centre

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