The Many Reasons Men Need to Focus on Their Health

Newswise — The recent MENTion It surveya Cleveland Clinic project, revealed startling statistics about men’s attitudes toward their own health:

  • 72% of men surveyed say they would rather do household chores – including cleaning toilets – than visit their doctor
  • 65% say they try to avoid going to the doctor at all costs
  • 37% hid information from their doctors

Why are so many men so reluctant to visit and be honest with their doctors? A major factor is fear: even when they suspect they may have an illness, many men fear being diagnosed because the illness could be serious. Another obstacle is the so-called Superman complex: many men take pride in taking care of everything – their wife, their family, their finances and the upkeep of the house – and they feel that going to the doctor means giving up their “House Superman” persona. .

There is also a societal component to men’s attitudes towards their health. Generally speaking, women tend to be more open when discussing sensitive topics such as their fears about the symptoms they are experiencing.

As a doctor, I want to assure everyone that we are not here to deliver bad news; our job is to help people, to extend and improve their lives. Men’s reluctance to take care of their own health has serious consequences; such behavior can unnecessarily delay diagnosis and life-saving treatment. The sooner we know a patient has a disease, the sooner we can intervene and possibly change its course.

Improve prostate cancer outcomes

Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death in men of all races. Ten years ago, screening for prostate cancer consisted only of a digital rectal exam and a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, and if either method revealed anything abnormal, we would go straight to the biopsy. Today, urologists can get a clearer, more detailed view of the prostate with advanced imaging technologies such as multiparameter magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) and fusion-guided ultrasound. Combined with more sophisticated blood tests, including the 4K score and the Prostate Health Index (PHI), these technologies can provide a better understanding of PSA levels and other disease markers, reducing the need for biopsy. .

Better risk assessment helps enormously in avoiding overtreatment and facilitating precision medicine, which not only translates into better cancer control, but also minimizes disruption in patients’ lives. Rather than irradiating the entire prostate, as we did 10 to 15 years ago, we can now use more sophisticated imaging technologies to minimize collateral damage. We can use in some patients advanced techniques such as focal ablation, high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) and cryosurgery to more precisely target the diseased area and minimize collateral damage to surrounding tissues and the remaining prostate.

When surgery is deemed appropriate, we have much less invasive techniques that are easier to recover. Surgeons no longer need to make a seven to eight inch incision and use headlamps and long instruments; nor do they need to pass through the abdomen to reach the prostate. Today’s software-guided single-port surgical techniques require only a one-inch incision through the patient’s navel, sparing the structures that control urinary continence and erectile function, while reducing risk infection and other complications. With surgical trauma minimized, many patients can go home the same day. Anyway, it’s not your father’s operation anymore. When prostate cancer is more advanced and has metastasized (spread) to other tissues, advanced technologies such as the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) test can help locate metastases, even in cases of recurrent prostate cancer. Additionally, it may soon be possible to attach a radioisotope to a PSMA test to deliver treatment directly to targeted cells while sparing surrounding tissue and limiting potentially debilitating side effects.

Genetics: the next frontier of precision medicine

To a large extent, recent medical advances aim to personalize care based on the patient’s genetic makeup. New technologies such as next-generation sequencing (NGS) are helping to advance personalized medicine by identifying who is at risk for certain cancers and other diseases and how best to treat them. These advances are driven by a better understanding of inherited mutations, which are changes in the genetic sequence passed from parent to child, as well as somatic mutations, which are DNA alterations that occur after conception. With NGS, along with blood tests that shed light on the genetic signatures of cancer cells, we can screen patients for both types of mutations, a capability that can help us more accurately assess individual patient risk and intervene more quickly. with treatments that specifically target the identified disease. changes.

Harnessing the Power of Multiple Disciplines

Improving men’s health is truly a multidisciplinary quest. Besides urology, the fields of oncology, hematology, radiology, robotics and nuclear medicine are just a few of the medical specialties that are advancing men’s health, aided by related disciplines nursing and social work. Their contributions expand the knowledge base surrounding new diagnostic technologies and therapeutic approaches, and inform the appropriate use of these innovations.

Hopefully, with this knowledge and the support of their wives and loved ones, men will be motivated to see their doctor as soon as possible, when medical intervention is most likely to produce positive results. And if the doctor’s office still looks like a scary place, men can take advantage of pop-up health screenings at local parks, civic centers, baseball diamonds, bars and social clubs. By bringing the benefits of health awareness wherever men are, such initiatives show men that taking charge of their health is easier than they think.

#Reasons #Men #Focus #Health

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