For a lot of men, a trip to the doctor isn't on their to-do list. Men hardly care about their health because of some false notion that they can’t get any sever health problem while they are still young. But that’s not the case always. Men go to the doctor only when they’re extremely sick or when symptoms don’t go away on their own. One of the best ways to fight the disease is to catch it in the early stages, when it’s more treatable. Feeling healthy isn’t the same as being healthy, and waiting around for problems to get better with time could lead to complications or late diagnoses. A warning sign can be subtle and present for some time before you take note of it. Or it can be immediate, painful, and worrisome. It's important to be aware of changes to your health, and to see your doctor immediately if you notice something that's not right.
Below are 10 warning signs for men and their symptoms that they should never ignore.
1. Sudden or Persistent Chest Pain
Most people associate chest pain with a heart attack, but it could be caused by a different health condition. You could have another type of heart problem, like angina, or a lung condition such as pneumonia, a pulmonary embolism, or asthma. Or it might be a gastrointestinal health condition such as acid reflux or a stomach ulcer. All of these need a doctor's attention.
2. Shortness of Breath
Shortness of breath is another symptom that can mean any number of things when it comes to men's health. It can signal a heart attack or congestive heart failure. Or you might have a lung disease such as lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, or pulmonary hypertension. Shortness of breath also is a symptom associated with anemia. So it is important that you look after yourself if you lose your breath easily.
3. A lump on your testicle
If you notice a lump, heaviness, or any other change in your testicle, never delay having it checked by a doctor. Most testicular lumps are not cancer, but it is essential to have any abnormalities checked. This is because treatment for testicular cancer is much more effective if the cancer is diagnosed early. Unlike prostate cancer, which grows slowly, testicular cancer can take off overnight. Your doctor will look for any problems with a physical exam, blood tests, and an ultrasound of your scrotum. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men aged 20 to 35. For which regular self-examination is recommended.
4. Unusual moles or Skin patches/spots
When you notice a change in the size, shape, or color of a mole or other spot on your skin and if that mole looks unusual or becomes itchy get it checked and removed if necessary by a doctor as soon as you can. 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.
Spots that are new or look different are top signs of skin cancer. You’ll need an exam and perhaps a biopsy, which means doctors remove a small piece of tissue for testing. With skin cancer, you don't want to wait.
To minimise your risk of skin cancer, avoid exposure to the sun between 11am and 3pm. Cover up and use sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15 when you're in the sun
5. Constant feeling of depression and fatigue
Depression is a real illness with real effects on your work, social and family life. If you’re depressed, you may lose interest in things you used to enjoy. 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. Treatment usually involves a combination of self help, talking therapies and drugs. If you’ve been having feelings of extreme sadness, contact your psychologist or doctor.
Fatigue involves an ongoing lack of energy and motivation and is a normal response to circumstances such as stress, physical exertion, or lack of sleep. However, fatigue also can be a symptom of a more serious physical or psychological health condition. Illnesses linked to fatigue include cancer, congestive heart failure, diabetes, arthritis, infections, and kidney or liver disease. Fatigue also can be part of health problems like anemia, depression, sleep disorders, or a malfunctioning thyroid gland.
6. Trouble while urinating
Many men have some problems peeing as they get older, like a need to pee more often, especially at night, dribbling, leaking, or an urgent need to go or a weak stream. When the prostate is enlarged, it can press on the tube that carries urine from the bladder. This can make it hard to pass urine, which can be a sign of prostate disease, including cancer.
An enlarged prostate gland usually causes these symptoms, but so can prostate cancer. See your doctor to check on the cause of the problem. He’ll give you an exam to look for an enlarged prostate, and he may talk to you about a blood test (called a PSA test) for prostate cancer.
7. Erectile dysfunction/ Impotence
Most men have problems getting or keeping an erection at some point. See your doctor if your erection problems last for several weeks. About 70 percent of cases of erectile dysfunction are caused by another condition, making this a warning sign that you may be facing a serious medical issue. Diseases that can cause erectile dysfunction include diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, neurologic disease, chronic alcoholism, and vascular disease. These conditions affect a man's ability to achieve erection by damaging nerves, smooth muscles, arteries, and tissues.
Generally, lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and exercise, can correct the problem. Some men may need medication. Your doctor is likely to assess your general health and find a solution.
8. Blood in Your Pee or Stool
These can be among the first signs of cancer of the bladder, kidneys, or colon. It's a good idea to see your doctor for any bleeding that’s not normal, even if you don't have other symptoms. Although you're more likely to have a problem that's not cancer, like hemorrhoids or a urinary infection, it's important to find and treat the cause.
9. Any kind of changes in lymph nodes
Swollen lymph nodes, small bean-shaped glands found in your neck, armpits, and other places, often signal that something's going on in your body. Usually, they mean your immune system is fighting a sore throat or cold, but certain cancers also can make them change. Have your doctor check any swelling that doesn't get better in 2 to 4 weeks.
10. Excessive Thirst
Every man should drink lots of water to maintain his health. However, excessive thirst can be a clue that you have a health condition. It is a prominent symptom of hyperglycemia and therefore is a big clue that you might have diabetes. Excessive thirst also is an indication of possible internal bleeding, severe infection, or a failure of the heart, liver, or kidneys.