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Steps to treating an enlarged prostate

Published July 1, 2021
As men age, they often experience a new kind of growth spurt, known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or an enlarged prostate gland. The first line of treatment is lifestyle changes to help manage symptoms. These include maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding medications like antihistamines and decongestants, adopting a healthy diet, and limiting caffeine. If these are not helpful, then medication is prescribed. However, men who don’t respond to medication or have trouble taking it, can benefit from several types of minimally invasive surgeries.

Large review study finds low risk of erectile dysfunction after prostate biopsy

Published June 10, 2021
Prostate cancer biopsies have a low risk of side effects, but some men do experience sexual dysfunction after the procedure. But a large review of sdudies has found that these issues usually resolve within one to three months.

MRI looking better for detecting prostate cancer

Updated June 1, 2021
Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to screen for prostate cancer can identify higher-grade cancers just as well as a standard biopsy, and may help some men with high prostate-specific antigen (PSA) numbers avoid biopsies.

Choosing the right ED drug

Updated June 1, 2021
Men have a higher risk of having erectile dysfunction (ED) as they age and many can benefit from taking an ED drug. There are currently four choices in the US, and men usually adopt a trial-and-error approach to find the drug and dosage that works for them. The choice also can be dictated by how fast they want the drug to work and how long the effect will last.

American Heart Association issues statement on cardiovascular side effects from hormonal therapy for prostate cancer

Published May 18, 2021
The American Heart Association issued a statement addressing cardiovascular risks from hormonal therapy for prostate cancer, emphasizing the need to identify men with pre-existing cardiac risk factors or a family history of cardiovascular diseases who should be monitored closely during treatment.

Is male menopause real?

Updated May 1, 2021

On call

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?

Updated April 1, 2021

On call

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

Updated March 1, 2021

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

Updated February 1, 2021

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?

Published January 8, 2021

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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