Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Ignorance Isn’t Bliss: 5 Health Issues Men Need to Know
Allan Haynes Jr., M.D., tells us why men should make their health a top priority.
Written by Suzanna Cisneros
Many men hide from their health, but regular screenings and checkups can improve quality of life.
As with stopping to ask for directions, men don’t often seek help with their health care. According to a study published as part of the National Policy Institute for Family Impact Seminars, men are more likely than women to neglect getting preventive health care or delay seeking medical care even when they do exhibit symptoms.
Allan Haynes Jr., M.D., Texas Tech Physicians – Urology is here to help with the top five health issues men should know about.
Recently the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force sent out their recommendation to end routine screenings for prostate cancer. However, Haynes said each case is unique and should be an individual decision. As a physician, he believes testing is more effective than standard digital exams. While the risk of prostate cancer testing is that it can generate anxiety of possible cancer, which in turn can elevate other issues in men like infections, with prostate biopsies there is a less than 1 percent risk of bleeding or infection.
“This is a test not to be ignored, but discussed in length as to relation to family history, exposure to certain toxins, or other specific risks factors,” Haynes said. “If cancer is found, there should be a discussion of non-treatment, observation or what treatment works for each individual.”
Haynes said many think erectile dysfunction only happens with age, but when it does occur to men under 50, it may be a symptom of something more serious.
“When a man under 50 visits his doctor with erectile dysfunction, most cases are not because of age or nerve damage,” Haynes said. “Men should be aware that this may be a symptom of vascular disease.”
And for men even younger than 40 with erectile dysfunction, there is possibility of another disease, Haynes said.
“Fifty percent of men under 40 who come to the clinic with erectile dysfunction are diagnosed with diabetes,” he said. “That is why it is important for men to be aware of their health and other possible health issues.”
Most men know smoking can cause lung cancer, but data shows there is a higher risk rate for bladder cancer in men. Waste products or the carcinogens get into the blood, cleared by the kidneys and then sit in the bladder. Haynes said all studies state 25 to 40 percent of those diagnosed will die from bladder cancer.
“There is truth to smoking can kill you,” Haynes said. “Quitting smoking can prevent harmful diseases.”
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a serious disease that can also lead to death.
“Because there are rarely symptoms until severe damage has been done such to the kidneys or heart, or loss of eyesight or stroke, many men may not take hypertension as seriously as they should. Treatment is inexpensive,” Haynes said. “Not taking care of your hypertension can be debilitating. Men cannot be mentors to their kids and grandchildren if the disease does damage.”
Men should know that not only does obesity cause health issues like heart disease and diabetes, but obesity in men is known to add risks for prostrate cancer, impotence and hypo testosterone function, or low male hormone.
Haynes said if you are overweight, it is important to be evaluated for coronary artery disease and diabetes. Men should reduce health risks with early intervention to prevent heart damage, disability and even death.
“With many of these health issues, men must give their commitment to control their weight, exercise, get the right amount of sleep, drink only in moderation and enjoy life,” Haynes said. “We can lower cost of medicine in this country 25 to 40 percent if people controlled their weight, hypertension and exercised regularly. It’s up to you to improve your health and stay healthy.”
Story produced by the Office of Communications and Marketing, (806) 743-2143.
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Texas Tech Physicians
Clinics are located in Amarillo, El Paso, Lubbock and the Permian Basin, encompassing 108 counties of Texas and New Mexico comprising 103,000 square miles with a population of 2.6 million people.
Receiving care in a medical school setting is unique – many Texas Tech Physicians are also teachers. They must remain up-to-date in new treatments and diagnostics, not only to care for their patients, but also to pass on that knowledge to resident physicians, physicians studying in fellowships and medical students.