It has been scientifically proven than women tend to be healthier than men. Currently, a man’s life expectancy is around 75 years, while the life expectancy for a woman is around 80 years. Part of this is due to the fact that males make far less visits to their doctor than females do. One reason being that men simply have a much more lax approach when it comes to their health; as well as the fact that there has also been a long cultural understanding that all men are expected to be “macho,” and therefore they don’t like asking for help out of fear that it might make them seem weak or less masculine. Unfortunately, these reasons are only putting men’s health at risk.
According to Dr. Demetrius Porche, Professor and Dean of Louisiana State University Health and Sciences Center, as long as men are working and productive they do not take the time to consider the risks to their health. However, even if you feel healthy, you should always have regular check-ups with your physician, as certain conditions can manifest without any symptoms whatsoever, and that can sometimes make treatment difficult. Below, Dr. Ali Ghahary, a family physician in Vancouver, has compiled together a list of the top threats to men’s health, and what you can do to avoid them.
Nearly 3 million Canadians live with heart disease. It’s the leading threat to men’s health, and the second leading cause of death worldwide in both males and females. Heart disease is an umbrella term used to describe many different conditions relating to the heart, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, angina, and arrhythmias. Heart disease can also lead to things like heart attack or stroke. In order to prevent heart disease, Dr. Ali Ghahary recommends having your cholesterol and blood pressure levels checked regularly. You’re also at an increased risk of developing heart disease if you are a smoker, so you should quit. You can find some helpful smoking cessation tips from Dr. Ghahary here. Increasing your physical activity and eating healthier can also reduce the risk of heart disease and improve your overall wellbeing.
The incidence of lung cancer is greater in men than women. It can be an aggressive disease, and is usually metastatic – meaning it easily spreads to other parts of the body, sometimes before it even causes symptoms or appears on an x-ray. Because of how advanced lung cancer is, it can be a difficult cancer to cure. Similar to heart disease, smoking puts you at risk of developing lung cancer. In fact, tobacco use is responsible for as many as 90% of all lung cancers that are diagnosed. There are few preventive measures that are as effective as stopping smoking when it comes to reducing the risk of lung cancer. If you’re having trouble quitting smoking despite numerous attempts, reach out to your physician for help.
Prostate cancer is a male-specific condition, and is the most common form of cancer in men aside from skin cancer. Last year, over 21,000 Canadian men were diagnosed with prostate cancer. On average, 58 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every day, while 1 in 29 will die from it. Prostate cancer can be slow-growing and unlikely to spread, or it can be aggressive. During its early stages, prostate cancer often doesn’t present with any symptoms. However, symptoms that can develop include burning or painful urination, difficulty urinating, frequent urges to urinate, loss of bladder control, and blood in urine.