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Is male menopause real?
Q. Do men go through a phase similar to what women experience with menopause?
A. You look in the mirror one day, perhaps in your 50s or early 60s, and you ask yourself, "Where did those love handles come from? Why do my once muscular pecs now sort of sag? And what about my diminished interest in sex? When did that happen?"
Should I continue PSA screening for prostate cancer?
Q. I am 74 years old and unsure whether I want to continue with PSA screening for prostate cancer. Before deciding, I wanted to better understand my options since I probably would not want surgery or radiation therapy if I do have prostate cancer. What is your approach?
A. No matter what your age, men should ask themselves these types of questions before having a blood test for PSA (prostate-specific antigen) to look for hidden prostate cancer.
New ways to test for prostate cancer
Recent advances can help men with a worrisome PSA result avoid immediate biopsy.
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood testing receives high marks as an effective way to monitor disease activity in men diagnosed with prostate cancer. Yet, as a screening tool for prostate cancer, PSA testing is problematic.
PSA naturally tends to increase as men get older, but levels that get too high may suggest prostate cancer. A PSA level of less than 4 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) is often reassuring, unless there has been a sudden jump from a much lower number. Many doctors consider a total PSA level higher than 10 ng/mL as the threshold for getting a biopsy to check for cancer.
Focusing on your future
Make your remaining years the best possible with these strategies.
There's a saying: "The trouble is, you think you have the time." People may understand their lives are limited, but they often don't internalize how much time they actually have left. This mindset can delay goal setting and long-term preparation, which increases the chances of later problems — for instance, with finances, housing, or health.
"People don't like to talk about their mortality because they don't want to see themselves as 'old,'" says Joan Gillis, a geriatric clinical social worker and senior clinical team manager with Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital. "But embracing this reality can help people grasp a sense of urgency, so they get the most from their remaining years."
Can gout be prevented?
Gout, a debilitating form of arthritis, is on the rise compared with rates in prior decades. Obesity is probably a significant factor in this increase. Now, a new study suggests that three-quarters of gout cases in men might be completely avoidable by following certain protective health habits.
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