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Men's Health Archive


What does blood in my semen mean?

Updated January 1, 2020

On call

Q. I've noticed blood streaks in my semen twice over the past 10 days. Is this a sign of something serious?

A. When a man sees blood in his ejaculate, his initial thought is cancer. But the reality is that bloody semen rarely is a sign of cancer.

Prostate cancer and your sex life

Updated January 1, 2020

Undergoing treatment and managing the condition can lower libido and lead to erectile dysfunction.

Considerable emotional and mental processing comes with a prostate cancer diagnosis. "Prostate cancer strikes a personal part of a man's body, and for most, it is a glaring sign of aging and a reminder they are not as young as before," says Dr. Mark Pomerantz, an oncologist with Harvard-affiliated Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Then there is the stressful decision about treatment. Yet many men don't realize how much their choice may influence their sex life.

Mushrooms may protect against prostate cancer

Updated January 1, 2020

In the journals

A study published online Sept. 4, 2019, by the International Journal of Cancer showed a possible connection between regular mushroom consumption and a lower risk of prostate cancer.

The researchers recruited more than 36,000 men ages 40 to 79. They recorded various health information, such as physical activity, family and medical history, and diet. Information on diet included 39 foods and beverages. The men were then followed for a period ranging from 13 to almost 25 years.

Biopsy of the Prostate and Transrectal Ultrasound

Updated December 6, 2019

What is the test?

Your doctor is likely to recommend this test if you've had a rectal exam or blood tests that suggest that you might have prostate cancer. For this test, a urologist takes tissue samples from several places in your prostate, to be examined for cancer. A transrectal ultrasound helps the urologist see the prostate during the procedure.

How do I prepare for the test?

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take before scheduling the procedure. If you take aspirin, another NSAID or an anticoagulant medicine such as warfarin (Coumadin), your doctor will advise if changes need to be made for the biopsy. Be sure to mention any allergies, especially to antibiotics.

Could white-coat hypertension harm your heart?

Published November 29, 2019

People who have elevated blood pressure readings in a doctor’s office but normal readings elsewhere are said to have white-coat hypertension. A new study suggests that people with this condition face a greater risk of heart disease than those whose blood pressure is always normal.

Straight talk on planking

Published November 13, 2019

Your core muscles are your body’s foundation, and the plank pose is a great exercise to do to help build core strength—it’s challenging but not complicated. Here’s everything you need to know to plank correctly.

Wait-and-see approaches to prostate cancer

Updated November 1, 2019

Active surveillance and watchful waiting are the most conservative — and increasingly popular — approaches to prostate cancer management. Is one of these right for you?

Over the years, the outcome for prostate cancer has turned out to be better than expected for many men.

While prostate cancer is quite common, the risk of dying from the disease is low, even without treatment. In fact, most diagnosed men will die from something else, like heart disease. Even so, prostate cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer deaths (after lung cancer) in men, according to the American Cancer Society.

Eating more nuts may improve sexual function

Updated November 1, 2019

In the journals

Need a sexual boost? Eat more nuts. A recent study found that men who added 60 grams — about 1/2 cup — of nuts to their daily diet improved several aspects of their sexual life. The results were published online June 19, 2019, by the journal Nutrients.

Researchers asked 83 healthy men to follow either a traditional Western-style diet without nuts, or a Western-style diet that also included 60 grams (about 360 calories) of a nut mixture made from almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts every day. A questionnaire assessed their current sexual function.

PrEP prevents HIV — so why aren’t more people taking it?

Published October 4, 2019

PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a daily medication taken to prevent HIV infection. While multiple studies show PrEP is effective, relatively few of those who might benefit are taking it. Will a 10-year initiative to reduce rates of HIV and a new formulation of PrEP help?

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