Men's Health Week

content supplied by NHS Choices

British men are paying the price for neglecting their health: more than 100,000 men a year die prematurely.

This year's Men’s Health Week (June 15-21) encourages men to take control of their health. On average, men go to their GP half as often as women.

It's important to be aware of changes to your health, and to see your GP immediately if you notice something’s not right.

We highlight five important male health issues and list the medical symptoms you should never ignore.

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Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men aged between 20 and 35. Nearly 2,000 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer each year in the UK and regular self-examination is recommended.

If you notice a lump or abnormality in your testicles, first see your GP. Most testicular lumps are not cancerous, but it is essential to have the abnormality checked. This is because the treatment for testicular cancer is much more effective if the cancer is diagnosed early.

Moles

Check your moles regularly and be aware of any change in colour or shape, or if they start bleeding. Most changes are harmless and are due to a non-cancerous increase of pigment cells in the skin.

See your GP if a mole looks unusual or becomes itchy. It can then be checked and removed if necessary.

To minimise your risk of skin cancer, avoid exposure to the sun between 11am and 3pm. Cover up and use factor 15+ sunscreen when you're in the sun.

Feeling depressed

If you’re depressed, you often lose interest in things you used to enjoy. If you’ve been having feelings of extreme sadness, contact your GP.

Depression is a real illness with real effects on your work, social and family life. Treatment usually involves a combination of self help, talking therapies and drugs.

Depression is more common in women, but men are far more likely to commit suicide. This may be because men are more reluctant to seek help.  

Trouble urinating

When the prostate is enlarged, it can press on the tube that carries urine from the bladder and make it hard to pass urine. This can be a sign of prostate disease, including cancer.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, with more than 30,000 men diagnosed annually. Other symptoms include pain or burning when you pass urine and frequently waking up in the night to pee. If you have any of these symptoms, see your GP.  

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