Prostate cancer screening is essential, but medical monitoring is also important to prevent and treat other diseases.

PROSTATE MEN’S HEALTH; Men, in general, are more careless about their own health than women. For cultural reasons, many believe that seeking help is a sign of fragility, and they only end up looking for a health professional when there is some kind of emergency or they already have advanced illnesses. Routine follow-up, then, is something that often doesn’t even cross their minds.

To give you an idea, men live, on average, 7 years less than women in Brazil, according to the life estimate calculated by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).

Of course, there are several factors involved in this number, but certainly the delay in diagnosing and treating diseases has its weight.

In an interview with the Saúde sem Tabu podcast in May 2021, urologist José Carlos Truzzi commented that the man has always been seen as a home provider, which brought the idea that they could not get sick or vulnerable. “The disease itself shows a fragility, of course it is not a purposeful fragility, nobody wants to get sick, but the image gives the feeling that the person is not as strong as he would like to be. This made many men not accept the condition of having to go to the doctor frequently, which is completely absurd, because women regularly go to medical appointments”, said the doctor at the time.

In November, the Blue November campaign reinforces the importance of health care and prostate cancer screening, which is essential. But men cannot forget about self-care in relation to other health aspects and the importance of having early follow-up. PROSTATE MEN’S HEALTH.

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men, second only to non-melanoma skin cancer, and it is also the second that kills the most. However, the vast majority of cases can be cured when there is an early diagnosis. The problem is that many men are not in the habit of going to the urologist. And as this cancer is almost always asymptomatic in the early stages, they do not suspect that they may be sick and, therefore, do not seek a doctor.

“In addition, there are taboos related to the rectal examination, which helps in the diagnosis of this disease; and the one related to treatment, which relates prostate removal surgery to urinary incontinence (inability to control urine) and erectile dysfunction (sexual impotence). To change that, we need to make the population aware, demystifying some information that is currently inaccurate”, says dr. Marcelo Wroclawski, urologist and vice president of the Brazilian Society of Urology of São Paulo (SBU-SP). PROSTATE MEN’S HEALTH.

The recommendation is to start follow-up with a urologist for prostate cancer screening from the age of 50 for patients without related risks and 45 years for those in the risk group, such as black men or with first-degree relatives who had prostate cancer. . The tests to track the disease are the digital rectal exam and the blood test to evaluate the PSA (prostate specific antigen) dosage, which shows whether there is any change in the prostate, whether benign or malignant.

Other diseases common in men

First, cancer is not the only disease that affects the prostate. “In addition to cancer, from the age of 40 the prostate begins to grow and this benign growth, known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, can cause urinary symptoms, such as weak and/or interrupted urine stream, need to wake up at night to urinate, decreased the interval between one urination and another, the need to run out to urinate, among others. Another change that can affect the prostate is an infection called prostatitis. In this case, the man has an acute worsening of the urinary pattern, in addition to developing fever and systemic symptoms, such as tiredness and malaise”, explains dr. Wroclawski.

PROSTATE MEN’S HEALTH: Men are also susceptible to other types of urological cancers, such as penile, bladder and kidney cancer, which are also more common after age 50, and testicular cancer, which is more common in young people.

In the case of penile cancer, for example, one of the risk factors is poor intimate hygiene, a simple health care that little is said about, but which is very important to maintain to avoid from local infections to more serious diseases like this one.

Still in relation to urological health, another frequent problem is renal calculi,

known as kidney stones, which often occurs due to the lack of the habit of drinking water, and overactive bladder, a condition that makes the person need to run to the bathroom to urinating and which can lead to urinary incontinence. Men who undergo prostatectomy (surgery to remove the prostate to treat prostate cancer) may also develop some degree of incontinence. The involuntary loss of urine can greatly impair the quality of life, but it ends up being a reason for shame for many men who do not seek help, which makes the diagnosis and treatment of the condition difficult. To deal with it better, there is the option of using products such as underwear or male absorbents specifically for incontinence, which neutralize odors and quickly absorb urine, reducing the risk of infections in the region, PROSTATE MEN’S HEALTH.

All this not to mention sexual health-related diseases, such as erectile dysfunction and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which are still a taboo for many people. It is worth remembering that STIs are easily preventable with the use of condoms.

In addition, chronic and/or cardiovascular diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, which are very common in Brazil, also deserve attention.

Without proper treatment, this type of disease, which at first may not cause symptoms, can lead to serious cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke. Prostate cancer most common

Health care in general

Having a medical follow-up and performing, when indicated, exams is essential to monitor important health indices and diagnose certain diseases early. Problems such as high blood sugar and high cholesterol, for example, do not usually cause symptoms, but they are easily identified in a simple blood test, so that it is possible to take measures to control the situation before it gets worse.

PROSTATE MEN’S HEALTH: “As important as the prostatic evaluation, the visit to the urologist’s office is often the man’s gateway to the health system. Not infrequently, we end up diagnosing cases of high blood pressure, diabetes or other highly prevalent diseases and referring them to a specialist”, highlights the SBU physician.

But you don’t have to wait that long to start this follow-up.

“In childhood, boys and girls go to the pediatrician. When adolescence arrives, the adolescent girl starts to be accompanied by a gynecologist. And that boy who entered adolescence stops doing the follow-up. This is wrong. It is also important that male adolescents undergo treatment, because there are some diseases that occur in adolescence and that will have consequences in adulthood. A common example, for example, is varicocele, which are varicose veins around the testicle that can impair their fertility,” said Dr. Truzzi in the episode of Saúde sem Tabu about men’s health.

“When a teenager undergoes a periodic evaluation with a urologist, an assessment of health is made in general and not just the urinary tract”, he added.

PROSTATE MEN’S HEALTH; Care that promotes greater longevity and quality of life includes maintaining a balanced diet, practicing physical exercises, controlling alcohol consumption and, in cases of those who smoke, quitting cigarettes. Quitting smoking is not easy, but the measure brings great benefits to health in general (not just respiratory health). There are still other simple measures, as mentioned above, such as drinking water every day (the recommendation is about 2 liters) and using condoms to prevent the occurrence of STIs. Promoting cancer early diagnosis

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