Men’s Health Issues That Go Overlooked

11/23/2021 | 5 min. read

Healthy Directions Staff Editor

Healthy Directions Staff Editor

There are a variety of health issues that can specifically impact either the male or female anatomy.

Heart disease, diabetes, stroke, heart attacks, unhealthy cholesterol, and high blood pressure can all impact either men or women, with neither gender necessarily being more likely to experience these ailments.

Maintaining a healthy weight and a healthy diet are great ways to support your health overall, regardless of gender, and vaccination can prevent things like influenza. However, you may still be vulnerable to some health conditions.

In this article, we will look at such health issues that can occur primarily in men. The symptoms or diseases may be rare, difficult to detect, or difficult to treat, but raising awareness is a step towards prevention.

Male Breast Cancer 

Breast cancer is not limited to women, and one percent of men still develop breast cancer.

Cancer is a destructive disease stemming from the rapid production of tissue-consuming cells. Cancer can form or pool into specific body segments, sometimes causing some sort of protrusion or lump that helps identify it.

Your doctor may find a lump alongside other indications in breast cancer cases, such as breast deformity or bleeding from the nipple(s).

Male breast cancer is more complicated than female breast cancer. It is harder to detect given the anatomy of men, and by the time most doctors can find it, cancer has often already reached a dangerous stage.

For breast cancer to form in men in the first place, cancer’s very biology has to be more resilient, making it harder to treat even after finding it. For reasons such as these, 18% of males diagnosed with cancer do not survive as opposed to the 15% of fatal cases in women.

Testicular Cancer 

Testicular cancer is an uncommon yet serious disease in males. On average, one in every 250 males could be diagnosed with it, and of those who are diagnosed, hundreds may not survive.

In fact, this type of cancer is the third leading cause of death in males. A delayed diagnosis is also a major contributor to the danger of any form of cancer, and particularly in testicular cancer.

Testicular cancer may be hard to detect, but it’s impossible to prevent. Since there is no current, solid prevention tactic for testicular cancer, it is important to remove cancer entirely before it has a chance to worsen and impact testicular function.

But since it’s hard to detect, how could you possibly catch it early on?

A doctor can examine you and help identify any symptoms, and regular checkups are crucial. But there is an even more viable and probably more comfortable method to keep testicular cancer at bay: self-examination.

It’s recommended that males examine themselves once a month for anything that might be suspicious. Like other cancers such as prostate or colon cancer, successfully catching this cancer early on could result in significantly more manageable treatment and recovery.      

Bladder Stones

Developing bladder stones is another problem men encounter, though much of the danger stems from them going unnoticed.

Bladder stones are typically smaller than kidney stones and could potentially be passed with ease. A male might never even know that they had developed bladder stones and their body could dispose of them without any aid.

However, if the stones have difficulty passing, then they could clog the bladder and cause various infections. At this point, it will feel painful to urinate, and there is usually an amount of blood in the urine.

Blood in the urine can actually happen for several reasons, but if blood is spotted under any circumstances, you should talk to your doctor immediately.    

Unfortunately, treating bladder stones once it’s too late is complex and could potentially require surgery. Long-term issues have been caused by bladder stones, usually affecting the frequency of urination or adding pain to the process.

The best--and only--known way of preventing stones from forming in either the bladder or the kidney is to drink plenty of water and continually flush your system.

Erectile Dysfunction 

Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is a fairly common, manageable condition for men to experience, though it does contribute to sexual impotence. This is when there is difficulty in provoking or maintaining an erection, accompanied by irregular ejaculation patterns, which has been linked to low testosterone.

Encroaching upon a million cases of erectile dysfunction are reported yearly in the US alone. This condition can hamper sexual activity and, unfortunately, affect relationships themselves as a result.

However, this does not have to be the case since it is treatable and essential to recognize as unshameful and natural.

Medication and doctors are always available to help bring maximum comfort in cases of lower testosterone levels. It is important to stress this not just for the sake of respect and dignity but also because erectile dysfunction can be caused by psychological means and physical and emotional.

Even cases of mild stress and tension can be enough to cause this condition and contribute to worsening it. Bringing up concern for erectile dysfunction to a doctor can be embarrassing but must be met by the support of anyone involved.

Leading a healthy lifestyle that supports both physical and mental wellbeing may make erectile dysfunction more manageable.

Alexithymia 

Alexithymia is the inability to recognize or describe your own emotions. It is a condition that anyone can have, but trouble recognizing both emotion and pain is a pattern that statistically arises in males. Also, it can contribute to tobacco use or alcohol use, which interferes with hormone production.

However, high pain tolerance may cloud your judgment and cause you to delay a doctor’s visit.

Conclusion

While some health conditions are specific to women and other conditions are not specific to either gender, there are some health issues that men may be especially vulnerable to.

Certain forms of cancer, like testicular cancer and prostate cancer, only impact men, and men also commonly experience erectile dysfunction and bladder stones.

Leading a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a healthy diet can be great ways to support your overall health as a man, but it is still important to see your doctor for regular check-ups in order to identify any issues in their early stages.

We hope this article has been insightful for you! Click here if you want to explore any of our other articles.  

Sources:

Testicular cancer | NCBI

Self eval | TesticularCancer.org

Bladder stones | NHS

Male Breast Cancer | BreastCancer.org

Healthy Directions Staff Editor