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Important Facts About Men's Health

Important Facts About Men's Health

Men's health is an important component for a happy life as well as for healthy relationships. Eating healthy food, exercising, managing stress, and knowing when to have medical tests for a particular age is essential to disease prevention in men.

Top 10 Diseases That Kill Men:

There are several diseases and conditions that affect men’s health and disturb the quality of their lives. On top of the most popular diseases that affect men, there are 10 diseases that threaten man's life seriously:


1-Heart Diseases: considered to be the number one killer of men worldwide. The most familiar manifestations for heart diseases are: angina, heart attack, infarction, abnormal heart rhythms and sudden cardiac arrest. The major risk factors for heart diseases include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and family history




  • Lung cancer: is the number one killer among cancers in men. However it is preventable in most of the cases. Smoking causes 90% of all lung cancers and is related to a variety of other cancers including cancer of the mouth, throat and larynx.


  • Prostate cancer: it is a disease of aging and is rarely seen in men younger than 50 years of age. The cure rate for prostate cancer has increased since the wide spread use of PSA testing began, but is still accounts for 10% of cancer deaths among men.


  • Colon and rectal cancers: tie with prostate cancer as the second most common cause of cancer deaths in men.


  • Testicular cancer: accounts for only about 1 % of cancer in men, but usually occurs in younger men (ages 15 to 39).

3-Injuries: accidents may happen anytime and anywhere. Simple actions like wearing a seatbelt while in a car, wearing a helmet when cycling, skiing, skateboarding or doing other activities where head injuries occur, help decrease risk of death in an accident. Driving while impaired on drugs or alcohol must also be avoided.

4-Stroke: this can occur because blood supply has been cut off (ischemia), or because there has been bleeding in the brain (hemorrhage). TIA (transient ischemic attack) is a stroke that improves within a few minutes or hours.

5-Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (C.O.P.D.): Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the two types of C.O.P.D and both are most commonly caused by smoking. C.O.P.D increases the risk of lung infection including pneumonia.

6-Diabetes: 80 % of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes while type 1 usually occurs in people younger than 40 years. Poorly controlled diabetes can cause a vascular disease leading to heart attacks, strokes, limb amputations, kidney failure, blindness and nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy).

7-Influenza and pneumonia: bacterial pneumonia is ranked with influenza as one of the major causes of death in men. Fortunately, a pneumococcal vaccine has proven effective in preventing one of the most common bacterial causes of pneumonia; streptococcus pneumonia.

8-Suicide: thoughts of self-harm are not normal. They should not be ignored by friends or family of anyone and should be considered an emergency situation. Depression is one of the most dangerous causes for suicide.

9-Kidney disease: kidney failure is often a result of years of poorly controlled high blood pressure and diabetes.

10-Alzheimer's disease.


Hair Loss in Men (Androgenetic Alopecia):

Many men never go bald. However, hair thins out over the years. The term androgenetic refers to the fact that common balding requires both male hormones (androgens) and a genetic tendency to lose hair. Because there are many genes involved however, you can't look at your parents and know how much hair you will lose or how fast you will lose it.

Many conditioners, shampoos, vitamins, and other products, as well as procedures involving laser and heat, claim to help hair grow in unspecified ways. These are harmless but useless. To slow down hair loss, there are just two medically proven options:

1-Minoxidil (Rogaine): it is an over the counter (OTC) topical application. It works best on the crown, less on the frontal region. Available as a 2% solution. Minoxidil may grow a little hair, but it is better at holding onto what's still there. The main problem with this medication is the need to keep applying it twice a day, and most men get tired of it after a while.

2-Finasteride (Propecia): this is a lower- dose version of a drug that is used to shrink the prostate in middle – aged men. It is taken once daily. Studies show that propecia slows hair loss effectively and tends to grow more hair as well over time.

Besides these medical treatments, there are various ways to camouflage hair that has already gone. These include hairpieces or hair- weaving processes.
Techniques for performing surgical procedures like scalp reduction and hair transplants have improved over the years, producing better, more natural results.
Transplant surgeons do their best to use hair that is not genetically programmed to fall out later. Taking propecia after a transplant also helps to retain hair.


Male Menopause: Fact or Fiction?

The concept of male menopause is based on the fact that the decline in testosterone levels that occurs as men age, may produce a characteristic and potentially treatable set of symptoms. However some medical experts argue that the analogy to the process in women has been carried too far. While it is true that testosterone levels do decline as a man ages, the decline in female hormones occurs to a much greater extent. Moreover, the symptoms in women associated with decreased estrogen levels are clearly understood.
In contrast, symptoms of what is referred to as male menopause are less clearly defined. Sexual dysfunction is a common complaint, but other non specific symptoms such as depression, mood changes, weight gain or fatigue, have been interpreted by some as symptoms of a male midlife change.

Although many doctors have treated midlife symptoms in men with testosterone hormone therapy, the value of male hormone therapy remains controversial because there are few long- term studies about the effects or benefits of testosterone supplementation.
In 2006 , the Endocrine Society published evidence-based guidelines for testosterone replacement therapy in men. Specifically for men who do not have testicular or pituitary disease, these experts recommend testosterone therapy only for men with definite and reproducibly low serum testosterone concentrations (less than 200 ng\dl) who have symptoms of androgen deficiency.

Experts further recommend that the therapeutic goal in these men is to reach a testosterone level that is lower than that for younger men, for example, 300 to 400 ng\dl , rather than 500 to 600 ng\dl, to minimize the potential risk for developing any testosterone-dependent disease.


Some news about cancer in men:

1-Male lumpectomy – cryotherapy for prostate cancer:
Cryotherapy that freezes tumors but leaves the rest of the prostate intact may be the best treatment choice for many men with early prostate cancer. This technique may be useful especially in men whose prostate cancer has not spread beyond the prostate gland.
The study involved about 120 patients for more than 10 years and the results were compelling. Of the 120 patients, 93% are cancer-free in an average of 3.6 years after treatment, and none of the men became incontinent and 85% of them remained sexually potent.
This study was presented in the weekly meeting of the society of interventional radiology in in march 2009, Orlando university, USA.

2-A drug may help prevent prostate cancer:
Millions of healthy men may benefit from taking the drug proscar to prevent prostate cancer, according to new guidelines from the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Urological Association.The recommendation is based on evidence gathered from 15 clinical trials, including the large Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) of over 18000 men aged 55 and older. In that study, men who took a proscar pill daily for one to seven years were about 25% less likely to develop prostate cancer than men who took placebo.

The key recommendations in the guidelines include:

1-Men with a Prostate–Specific Antigen (PSA) level of 3.0 or below who are screened regularly, or who plan to get yearly PSA tests and who show no symptoms, are encouraged to discuss with the doctor the risk and benefits of taking 5-alpha reductase inhibitor (5-ARI)- proscar to further prevent their likelihood of getting prostate cancer.

2-Men who are already taking 5-ARI for other conditions should talk to the doctor about continuing to use the drug for the prevention of prostate cancer. These guidelines were published in February 2009.

3-Sunlight may help protect men from kidney cancer:A new study published in The Journal of Cancer in march 2010, showed that men with jobs that expose them to high levels of sunlight are less likely to develop kidney cancer than those with little or no sunlight exposure at work. This study included 1100  male and female kidney cancer patients and 1465 healthy people. The results showed that men with the highest levels of work-related exposure to sunlight were 24% to 38% less likely to have kidney cancer than other men. The findings suggest that sunlight exposure may affect kidney cancer risk and vitamin D which is metabolized and most active within the kidneys, may help prevent some cancers including kidney cancer.


The Checklist: How to Stay Healthy

Here are some pieces of advice to promote a healthier lifestyle and living a longer, healthier life:



  1. Stop smoking
  2. Maintain a healthy weight.
  3. Engage in some type of physical activity everyday.
  4. Eat a healthy diet.
  5. Maintain good control of blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.
  6. Get routine medical care and physical examinations.
  7. Get recommended screenings for prostate and colon cancer.
  8. Perform routine home testicular exam.
  9. Keep mentally active.
  10. Seek help if you have symptoms of depression.

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Prepared by: Scientific Section

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