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
What Is It?
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that sits below the bladder in men. This gland makes fluid that mixes with sperm to form semen. Because the prostate surrounds the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body from the bladder), conditions that cause the prostate to swell or enlarge may press on the urethra and cause pain or problems with urination.
Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate gland. Acute prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate gland that results in sudden onset of symptoms. Acute prostatitis is caused by an infection, usually by bacteria that get into the prostate by traveling up the urethra. Some of these bacteria are the normal germs that live on and inside your body. Other infections are transmitted through sexual contact.
Priapism is an abnormally prolonged and often painful erection. This erection may not be related to sexual desire or stimulation. It often won't be relieved by orgasm.
Priapism may start after prolonged sexual activity, although this by itself is not believed to cause priapism. Most men seek medical attention within hours to days, but a few people may have a partial erection that persists for weeks.
Priapism can affect males of any age. Most cases occur in boys aged 5 to 10 years or men aged 20 to 50 years. In young boys, the most common cause is sickle cell disease. In adult males, the leading cause is drug treatment of erectile dysfunction, especially injection therapy. Other less common causes include recreational drug use, trauma to the genitals or groin, other medications and spinal cord problems.
In up to one-third of cases, no specific cause can be found.
In a normal erection, the veins that drain blood from the penis narrow and cause blood to back up, which makes the penis stiffen and swell. After the veins relax and open, the penis will not be erect.
In most cases of priapism, these veins do not relax after orgasm, which causes the penis to remain erect. Less commonly, priapism occurs when so much blood flows into the penis that it cannot drain, even through veins that function properly. This increased blood flow is usually caused by a damaged blood vessel.
The prostate-specific antigen blood test (PSA test) is a screening test. It measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in a man's blood.
PSA is a chemical made by the prostate. The prostate is a sex gland located near a man's bladder. It produces the fluid in semen.
PSA levels normally increase as a man ages. But a higher-than-normal PSA level can be one clue that cancer has developed in the prostate gland.
However, high levels of PSA also can be found in other conditions that are noncancerous. These include prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), an enlargement of the prostate that affects many older men.
Torsion of the testicle is an uncommon but serious condition in which the testicle twists on the cord that provides its blood supply. The twisting of this cord cuts off the blood supply to the testicle. It is extremely painful and must be treated immediately to prevent permanent damage to the testicle. Testicular torsion can happen after strenuous exercise or an injury, but it also can occur without any apparent cause. The condition can occur at any age but is most common between the ages of 10 and 20.
Sudden onset of severe pain and extreme tenderness in one testicle, with or without an obvious cause, is the most striking symptom. Other symptoms include nausea and vomiting associated with the pain, and swelling on one side of the scrotum.