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It's time to get smart about our health, expert tells men

June 13 2018

Men’s health awareness week runs from 11-17 June and an Emerson Green NHS Treatment Centre expert is urging men to take notice of the signs that all may not be right with their health.

Ade Adeniyi, consultant urologist and medical director at the centre, said: “It is a known fact that men’s life expectancy is seven years less than women’s. Although there are many factors in play, I believe men’s approach to health awareness and asking for help is a major contribution to the difference.

“Over the years, through constant advertisement, education and national screening programmes, women have developed excellent awareness of breast and cervical cancer. Early detection means a 95 percent survival rate.

“Prostate and testicular cancers have equal survival rates when diagnosed early, but we men need to get a lot better at admitting when our bodies are telling us something is wrong. Early treatment will not only save our lives but also save our loved ones a great deal of anxiety.”

Ade’s top questions men should ask themselves about their health:

1 - Have you noticed you are making frequent visits to the toilet at night?

Prostate cancer can present itself as an obstruction and therefore the bladder is not completely emptied, resulting in the need to go sooner.

2 - Are you accidently leaving urine marks around the toilet rim?

We have all experienced what happens to the stream from a garden hose when we disturb the flow with our thumb: the stream becomes a spray. This is the same with urine flow – it is possible an enlarged prostate can create the same interference.

3 - Have you noticed the notches on your belts  moving to a smaller size or clothes looser?

Unexpected weight loss, rather than any due to diet and exercise, can be a symptom of several ailments including cancer. Linked with this can be a decrease in appetite and lack of enjoyment of food in general. It is often the loved ones who notice these signs.

4 - Do you feel short of breath after carrying out normal activities?

This may be due to a lack of fitness but can also be a sign of lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer deaths in men. A persistent cough that will not go away may be accompanied by coughing up blood. Keep an eye on your handkerchiefs or tissues if you are concerned.

Ade said: “If you ask yourself these questions, and you are concerned you are showing any of the symptoms, share your concerns with your loved one, who may have already spotted them but has been afraid to discuss it, and make an appointment to see your GP.

“The word cancer generates all sorts of images in our head. What is important and needs to be driven home is that most cancers are curable, when caught early. In addition, many problems are actually not caused by cancer, however, the fear of the dreaded ‘C’ word holds people back from seeking help. 

“The NHS needs your support to help men be aware, proactive and engaging with services early. I believe we can make a difference and help close that seven-year gap.

“I can give every assurance that, no matter how personal your problem feels, you will most likely be treated with care, empathy and discretion by my colleagues in every branch of the NHS.”