Men's Health Archive

Articles

Managing fluids is one step toward better bladder control

As many as 32 million American women and men have some degree of incontinence—the unintended loss of urine or feces that is significant enough to make it difficult to do ordinary activities without frequent trips to the restroom. The most common causes of incontinence are childbirth and aging in women; prostate disorders and their treatment in men. Treatments include exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor, fluid management, medications, and surgery. For people with urinary incontinence, fluid management is an easy place to start, explains Better Bladder and Bowel Control, a new Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School. This involves drinking only when you are thirsty, limiting your fluid intake from all sources to six to eight 8-ounce cups of fluid per day from all sources, and minimizing caffeinated and carbonated drinks, as well as alcohol.

Vitamin E may indeed increase the risk of prostate cancer

It was once thought that taking vitamin E could reduce the risk of prostate cancer. However, recent research suggests this is not the case. Back in 2008 one large study, known as the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT), showed that not only did vitamin E fail to decrease the risk of prostate […]

On call: Penile shortening post-prostatectomy

Q. I am trying to decide between a radical prostatectomy and radioactive seed therapy for my newly diagnosed prostate cancer. All the doctors I've consulted say I have very early disease (PSA 4.9, Gleason score 6) and that I should be cured either way. I'm basing my decision on side effects, but I need more information on one thing I learned about on the Internet, penile shortening.

A. I won't try to advise you about your choice of treatment, since there is no clear answer as to which is best. In addition to the options you're considering, many men would also consider external beam radiation therapy, and older men might consider deferred treatment or active surveillance.

Harvard experts weigh in on PSA test debate

For the first time, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that healthy men avoid getting regular prostate cancer screening tests.  The new recommendation, which conflicts with existing recommendations from the American Urological Association, has sparked controversy among experts and confusion among patients. Harvard’s Ann MacDonald, Editor of the Annual Report on Prostate Diseases, offers […]

Alzheimer’s disease in its later stages: Some advice for caregivers

Alzheimer’s disease is a “disease of behaviors” that can wear down family and loved ones. In a talk called “Dementia and Cognitive Decline (Aging Gracefully)” Barbara Moscowitz, coordinator of geriatric social work for the Geriatric Medicine Unit at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital, offered helpful insights and tips into caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease. Moscowitz drew not only her 30 years of professional experience, but also on the personal experience of helping take care of her mother, who suffered from dementia the last several years of her life.

10 diet & exercise tips for prostate health

"What can I eat to reduce my risk of developing prostate cancer?" This is one of the most common questions physicians hear from men concerned about prostate health. Undoubtedly, many hope that their doctor will rattle off a list of foods guaranteed to shield them from disease. Although some foods have been linked with reduced risk of prostate cancer, proof that they really work is lacking, at least for now.

Aim for a healthy eating pattern

Instead of focusing on specific foods, dietitians, physicians, and researchers tout an overall pattern of healthy eating — and healthy eating is easier than you might think. In a nutshell, here's what experts recommend:

Reducing prostate cancer risk: Good news, bad news, or no new news?

Prostate cancer is an important disease; in fact, it's the most common internal malignancy in American men. Prostate cancer is a variable disease; many cases are slow growing, even harmless, but some cases are aggressive and even lethal. And it's a puzzling disease; some cases are passed down from father to son, but most occur without apparent rhyme or reason.

Important, variable, and puzzling — it is no wonder that men pay attention when research reports that common dietary elements appear to reduce risk. Two studies have attracted a lot of press; both contain surprising information, but to understand what they mean for you, you'll have to dig behind the headlines and sound bites.

Viagra precautions

Q. I am a 64-year-old man. Aside from diabetes, I've been healthy and until now, the only prescription I've taken is insulin. But I've been having trouble with erections, and my doctor just gave me a prescription for Viagra. He also told me to be careful about using other drugs with Viagra but didn't give me a list. Can you please fill me in?

A. Viagra (sildenafil) is one of three widely used medications for erectile dysfunction; the others are Levitra (vardenafil) and Cialis (tadalafil). Although you'd never know it from their advertisements, the three medications are closely related and have similar — and very favorable — track records for effectiveness and safety. They also have similar drug interactions and require similar precautions.

Saw palmetto fails to relieve BPH symptoms in new Harvard study

A new study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association finds that saw palmetto, a fruit extract commonly taken to treat urinary tract symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate (technically termed benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH), is no more effective in relieving symptoms than placebo, even at high doses. The federally funded study […]

Change: One man’s steady struggle to become healthier

It isn’t easy to get rid of a harmful habit like drinking too much, or to make healthy changes like losing weight and exercising more. Media stories often sugar-coat changes like these, making them seem easier than they really are. In a moving essay in the American Journal of Health Promotion, Michael P. O’Donnell (the journal’s editor) describes his dad’s efforts to become healthier for his sake and the sake of his family. There was no monumental struggle, no epiphany—just a regular guy doing his best each day to become healthier for his sake and for his family. It’s a truly inspiring story.

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Sign Up
Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.