It is important that we raise awareness of preventable health issues and encourage men and boys to seek professional advice for health-related problems. Some of the health issues that affect men are:
Too much stress can:
- Damage your immune system and heart
- Increase your chances of serious health problems
- Reduce life expectancy
- Damage your sex life
- Stress causes mental health problems. One in four people in the UK will have a mental health problem this year
- We’re all different. Learn what pushes your stress and anger buttons
- Walk away rather than lose your temper
- Be honest with yourself; it’ll help you be honest with others
- Talk about what’s on your mind. Don’t bottle it.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) can be caught through vaginal, anal or oral sex, or skin-to-skin contact.
STIs are common and can affect you whether you're straight, gay or bisexual. You don't need to have sex with lots of people to be at risk of catching an STI — just one brief encounter may be enough.
Some of the more common symptoms to look out for include:
- a yellow discharge from your penis
- swollen tender testicles
- irritation of your penis
- pain when urinating
However, not all STIs have symptoms so get yourself tested if you’ve had unprotected sex. Your GP or local sexual health service (Virgin Care) can help.
- If you don’t know someone else’s sexual history always use a condom—whatever sort of sex you’re having.
- Get regular check-ups at a GUM clinic. This is important because not all STIs produce symptoms.
- If a condom breaks, NHS Choices can direct you to the nearest emergency contraceptive service.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) affects most men at some time (about one in 10 at any given moment). There are many treatments available so see your GP or local sexual health service (Virgin Care). They treat ED everyday.
Do not buy drugs privately as you need to rule out life-threatening problems like heart disease that can cause ED. Plus, drugs sold online may be dangerous fakes. Medical conditions that can cause ED include:
- Heart disease
- Raised blood pressure
- Raised cholesterol
- Low testosterone
- A spinal cord injury
- Prostate or other surgery in this area
Sometimes the cause is psychological:
- Relationship problems or sexual boredom
- Tiredness, stress, depression or anxiety
- Sexual identity problem
GET HELP for these or any other sexual health issues from your GP or your local sexual health service (Virgin Care):
You should not regularly drink more than 14 units a week. If you do drink up to 14 units a week, it’s best to spread these evenly across a few days and to have at least two drink free days a week.
The risks of frequently drinking above safe levels include:
- Weight gain (a pint of beer contains nearly 200 calories)
- Heart problems
- Nerve damage
- Impotence and infertility - even moderate drinking will reduce sexual performance (though not desire)
- Liver disease
- Digestive problems
Alcohol is frequently a factor contributing to violence (including a quarter of all murders).
Step Forward Drug and Alcohol Recovery
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0808 143 0640
To cut down on your drinking, you could try:
- Drinking water during the day to cut appetite before drinking
- Avoiding drinking at least two nights a week. Then try to increase this to three or four nights.
- Not drinking more than one drink an hour. Set yourself a maximum and stick to it.
- Making your first drink a soft one
- Not getting into rounds
- Reducing the strength of what you’re drinking
- Downloading the NHS drink tracker app or writing down how much you drink each day - seeing it in black and white helps.
Try a few of these ideas; if you can’t do them then you then you need to stop drinking. If you can’t stop drinking, you need to get advice.
More of us are getting cancer but more of us are surviving it, so if you have any symptoms you're worried about, see your GP sooner rather than later
Prostate cancer normally causes no symptoms until the cancer has grown large enough to put pressure on the urethra. It is the most common cancer in men.
If diagnosed early the chances of surviving for at least five years are 90 per cent. Diagnosed at a late stage, five year survival rates drop to 30 per cent.
- Difficulties with urinating;
- A weak flow
- Intermittency - a flow which stops and starts
- Hesitancy - having to wait before you start to go
- Urgency - finding it difficult to postpone urination
- Peeing more often (usually during the night)
You should always contact your GP if you experience any of the symptoms above. For more information, visit the Prostate Cancer UK website.
Testicular cancer is rare; although it is the most common cancer in younger men, this is because cancer is so rare in young people. However if you notice a lump in your balls see your GP straight away; it can be treated very successfully if caught early on.
- A lump in either testicle
- Any enlargement of the testicle
- A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
- A dull ache in the abdomen or groin
- A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum
- Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts
Testicular cancer may not cause any discomfort or pain, especially in the early stages. The most common symptom is a small painless lump.
Pancreatic cancer can be difficult to detect and diagnose as there are usually no symptoms or signs in the early stages.
Any symptoms people do have can be quite vague. An example is abdominal pain, which may start off as occasional discomfort before becoming more painful and frequent. The symptoms can also be a sign of other more common illnesses, which means that people may end up seeing their GP several times or being sent for a number of different tests before pancreatic cancer is even considered.
It is more common amongst older people; almost half of cases are diagnosed in over 75s, it is uncommon in under 40s.
An estimated 37 per cent of pancreatic cancers in the UK are linked to lifestyle factors, including smoking and obesity.
- Pain in the stomach or back
- Unexpected weight loss
Each year an average of 80 men and 60 women are diagnosed with lung cancer in North Lincolnshire. Lung cancer is more common amongst the older ages; around 60 per cent of those diagnosed are over 70s, whereas it is rarer in under 40s. There are usually no symptoms in the early stages of lung cancer.
The most common initial symptoms of lung cancer include;
- A persistent cough (more than three weeks)
- A sudden change in a cough that you have had for a long time
- Unexplained weight loss, breathlessness
- Chest pain - this is usually intermittent (‘stop-start’) and is often made worse when breathing or coughing
- Coughing up blood-stained phlegm (haemoptysis).
Less common initial symptoms of lung cancer include; changes in the appearance of your fingers, such as them becoming more curved, or their ends becoming larger (this is known as finger clubbing); a high temperature (fever) or 38C (100.4F), or above; fatigue; difficulty swallowing and/or pain when swallowing, wheezing, a hoarse voice; and swelling of the face.
Smokers have a higher risk of lung cancer, with over 85 per cent estimated to be linked to smoking. Stopping smoking can reduce your risk of developing some cancers.
For help with stopping smoking contact the North Lincolnshire Healthy Lifestyle Service.