Even though the nursing profession is predominately comprised of women, more and more men are choosing nursing as a profession. It is important that men care for themselves to improve their own quality of life as well as provide quality care to their patients. Here we will discuss specific health priorities for men.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is an enlargement of the prostate and is a common prostate related complication in men 50 and older (Men's Health Resource Center [MHRC, 2016d). Symptoms include urination frequency/straining, and incomplete emptying of the bladder (MHRC, 2016d). If left untreated, it can cause kidney-related complications; therefore, it is important that symptoms be addressed early (MHRC, 2016d).
Prostatitis, a term used to describe an inflamed prostate, often caused by infection, is the most common prostate issue in men under the age of 50 (MHRC, 2016f). The Prostatitis Foundation estimates about 50% of men will experience it in their lifetime (2016). Increased risk factors include bladder infections, BPH, sexually transmitted diseases, high alcohol consumption, spicy food, and pelvic injury (MHRC, 2016). Signs/symptoms include: pain when urinating, difficulty with urination and sexual activity, as well as more vague symptoms including fatigue and depression (Prostatitis Foundation, 2016). Visit your healthcare provider for treatment.
Prostate Cancer, according to the CDC, is the most common non-skin cancer in men (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2016c). Men 50 years or older, with a family history of prostate cancer, or of African American descent are at greater risk of developing prostate cancer (MHRC, 2016e). A low fiber/high fat diet also increases your risk (MHRC, 2016e). Early detection is imperative since late stages of the cancer can spread to different areas of the body (MHRC, 2016e). Signs/symptoms can be similar to those of BPH and prostatitis but can also include back, pelvic, hip, or ejaculatory pain; bloody, painful, burning, and/or difficult urination; ED; and/or blood in your semen (CDC, 2016c). Please note that there also may be no symptoms at all (CDC, 2016c). Speak with your healthcare professional to discuss prostate screening (CDC, 2016c).
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in younger men, aged 15-35 (MHRC, 2016g). Caucasian men are more predisposed, followed by Hispanics then African Americans (MHRC, 2016g). Risk factors include undescended testicle, abnormal testicular development, family history of testicular cancer, and Klinefelter's syndrome (MHRC, 2016g). Common signs of testicular cancer include a small mass in or swelling of the testicle. Performing testicular self-exams (TSE) once a month increases the probability of finding a tumor early, along with regular evaluations from a healthcare provider (MHRC, 2016g).
The Men's Health Resource Center estimates that up to 6 million US men have low testosterone levels, which is the male sex hormone (2016c). Men of any age are susceptible to low levels that can result from obesity, cancer treatments, natural aging processes, and excessive consumption of alcohol or heavy metals (MHRC, 2016c). There are many possible symptoms including decreased interest in sex, insomnia, decreased muscle mass, reduced hair growth, mood changes, and enlarged breast tissue (Mayo Clinic, 2016b). There are treatments available such as testosterone replacement therapy, so consult your healthcare provider for your best option.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
ED is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection. While ED can be treated, there are many possible causes, including: back injury or surgery, heart disease, diabetes, neurological issues, certain lifestyle factors, psychological conditions, and medications (MHRC, 2016b; Mayo Clinic, 2016a). ED can be a harbinger of a serious medical condition; your healthcare provider can assess your health and offer treatment for any underlying medical conditions, as well as the ED (Mayo Clinic, 2016a).
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a broad term for multiple disorders related to the heart; 392,000 men die from cardiovascular disease each year (MHRC, 2016a). More than 1 in 3 men suffer from at least one of these disorders (Go, A. S. et al, 2013). It is the leading cause of death in men (CDC, 2016a). There are multiple contributors to CVD, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol; therefore, it is important to eat a healthy diet, limit alcohol consumption, not smoke, and stay active (CDC, HHS, n.d).