Men's Health

The average man pays less attention to his health than the average woman. Compared to women, men are more likely to

  • drink alcohol and use tobacco
  • make risky choices
  • not see a doctor for regular checkups

Men are assailed by the diseases that can affect anyone—heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, depression… But they also have unique issues such as prostate cancer and benign prostate enlargement.

Many of the major health risks that men face can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle: regular exercise, a healthy diet, not smoking, stress reduction, and alcohol consumption in the moderate range (no more than two drinks a day) if at all. Regular checkups and screening tests can spot disease early, when it is easiest to treat.

So don't be an average man — get on board with protecting your health today.

Men's Health Articles

Should you take an erectile dysfunction drug to also ease urinary woes?

Difficulties with urination become more and more common over age 50. Often the cause is the noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Some men have both BPH and erectile dysfunction (ED). The ED drug tadalafil is approved for use in men with both ED and BPH, but its use for urinary symptoms is less well established than standard medications. Tadalafil is not the best starting medication for treating moderate to severe BPH. Use standard medications and take ED drugs as needed. (Locked) More »

When drugs for erectile dysfunction don't work: What's next?

If erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs in pill form don't work, there are four major alternatives: penile injection, medication pellets, vacuum constriction method, and penile implant. Each option has pluses and minuses, and will work for different men depending on their preferences. Injection is the most effective option, but some men find it difficult to insert a needle in the penis. Inserting a medicine pellet in the tip of the penis works less well than injections. The vacuum constriction method does not produce a fully firm, natural-feeling erection. The penile implant approach is reliable but disturbs the natural erectile anatomy, which means that ED medications will no longer work. (Locked) More »

Considering testosterone therapy?

Testosterone (T) therapy offers the potential to improve a man’s energy, mood, and sex drive. Treatment comes in the form of injections, gels or patches placed on the skin, or tablets that stick to the gums. Candidates are usually men with a total T level below 300 nanograms per deciliter. However, the diagnosis of low T can be tricky, and doctors debate whether T therapy raises risk for blood clots, heart disease, and prostate cancer. (Locked) More »

Prostate biopsy: What to expect

Prostate biopsy has risks as well as benefits. A small percentage of men get infections. If an infection gets out of control, it can end in hospitalization. Temporary biopsy after-effects include rectal bleeding, blood in the semen, and urinary problems. It is possible to have a negative biopsy result (no cancer found) but still have cancer. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of this procedure. (Locked) More »

Should I worry about finasteride side effect reports?

Some men who took finasteride for urinary problems (Proscar) or balding (Propecia) have reported permanent sexual side effects such as low sex drive or ejaculation problems. It is not established for certain that the side effects are caused by the drug. (Locked) More »

Should you get a PSA test?

The latest thinking in PSA testing is that prostate cancer screening should not be offered routinely to all men. Because of the testing, many men are diagnosed and treated for cancers that would not have made them sick or shortened their lives. For such men, the treatment—which can produce side effects—is worse than the disease. Although PSA screening has been thought to offer most potential benefit to men at elevated risk, such as African American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer, this has not been shown in studies conducted to date.  (Locked) More »

When it's okay to delay hernia surgery

Up to 40% of men develop a groin hernia in their lifetimes. In the past, men were told to have the condition repaired to prevent a potentially dangerous complication, strangulated hernia. But strangulated hernia is actually relatively rare. Unless a hernia is causing distress or limiting a man’s activities, he can safely delay repair indefinitely.   (Locked) More »

Your PSA test result: What's next?

When used to check for hidden prostate cancer, the PSA test does not offer a clear and unambiguous result. The test indicates only that a person may have cancer, but a biopsy is required to confirm the actual presence of cancer. If your doctor is concerned about your PSA test result, he or she might suggest additional testing to rule out noncancerous causes and to further assess your cancer risk before recommending that you undergo a biopsy.   (Locked) More »

What you need to know about: vaccines

All adults are advised to get flu vaccines each year. However, immunization doesn’t last a lifetime, so you should check to see if all of your vaccinations are current. You need a tetanus booster every 10 years. All adults 65 or older should get the pneumonia shot once (and a second time after age 65 if the first shot was given when they were younger than 65). The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the shingles vaccine for people ages 50 and older; however, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices continues to recommend that vaccination begin at age 60. More »

Testing your testosterone: It's tricky

Many men are turning to testosterone supplementation to boost flagging libido, lift their spirits, and improve their mental and physical performance. But blood tests for diagnosing "low T" are notoriously unreliable. Measuring total testosterone can produce misleading results in men with low-normal hormone levels. But by combining more than one kind of blood test, and by making sure to retest, your doctor can offer you a reasonably reliable diagnosis and possibly offer a short-term trial of testosterone to see if it makes you feel better. (Locked) More »