Men have traditionally stayed away from the doctor with their health suffering as a consequence. Things have improved over the recent years but they are still slower in coming forward than women. There are a number of health areas particularly, if not exclusively, relating to men:
A major cause of concern for men are their prostate glands. There are 2 common issues. Firstly, as men age the prostate gland gets bigger and can start causing problems with bladder emptying with symptoms such as reduced stream, increasing frequency of needing to go to the toilet, including getting up several times at night, and sometimes inability to pass urine at all (obstruction). This is called benign prostatic hypertrophy and there are various treatment options for this from medication through to surgery. The other condition is Prostate Cancer which, asides from some skin cancers, is the most common cancer in Australian men and generally, in the early stages, causes no symptoms. It is more common in men with a family history of prostate, breast or ovarian cancer. There are some controversies around who to screen and when so it is best to have a chat with your GP about what is right for you.
Although testicular cancer accounts for only 1 percent of all cancers in men, it is the most common solid malignancy affecting males between the ages of 15 and 35 and most commonly presents as a painless lump in the testicle, a change in shape of the testicle or a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum. It is important to regularly monitor your testicles for changes and have a check with your GP if you have any concerns.
There are a number of physical causes for erection problems, such as diabetes and circulation issues, but also, more commonly, psychological causes too. Once things have started to go wrong then the problem often becomes self-perpetuating with the expectation of failure feeding into the situation. Your GP can prescribe medication or refer you for psychological treatment to break this cycle. We can also check for the physical causes.
Male pattern hair loss is very common but there is treatment available. Both topical minoxidil (available over the counter from pharmacies) and finasteride tablets (prescription medication available from your GP) have been shown to be effective in clinical trials. Asides from hair transplants the only other treatment with some evidence behind it is Low level laser light therapy (LLLT) however more trials are needed to determine the optimum treatment regimen for this and how long the benefit lasts.
Mental Health Issues
1 in 8 men will experience depression and 1 in 5 anxiety at some point in there lives, 6 out of the 8 suicides occurring each day in Australia are men. Historically men have been slow to seek help perhaps feeling that it is a sign of weakness. Organizations such as Beyond Blue and the Black Dog Institute are working at encouraging men to discuss these problems and, together with your GP, are good places to start to get help.
Anabolic Steroid use
Increasing numbers of men are using anabolic steroids (eg Andriol, Halotestin, Proviron, Sustanon, Primobolan, Deca-Durabolin and veterinary products such as Stanozolol, Boldebal-H, Nandrabolin, Spectriol, Drive, amd Stanabolic). Contrary to information on forums etc there is no safe way or dosing of taking anabolic steroids. Side effects can include:
Jaundice (yellowing of skin or eyes), permanent liver damage, liver tumours
Heart problems - abnormal heart rhythms (due to use with diuretics), high blood pressure, fluid retention and/or heart attack
Development of breast tissue
High Cholesterol levels
Infertility, increased libido
Hepatitis B/C, HIV (from sharing needles)
Your GP cannot prescribe "safe" versions of the steroids but can discuss the real risks and monitor you for side effects.
Underarm sweating (Hyperhidrosis) is a common and embarrassing problem asides from topical antiperspirants there are prescription medication which can help as can injections, normally used for wrinkle relaxing, which are available from Dr Gordon at CCMC.
Sexual Health Checks
At CCMC we can arrange the full range of sexual health checks and we also have HIV-trained GPs who can look after your HIV and prescribe HIV PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis)
General Health Checks
At CCMC, we have a strong commitment to preventive medicine and recommend seeing your GP to discuss what check-ups are appropriate for you. In addition we recommend a Prolonged Health Assessment (PHA) for everyone aged 45-49 and over 70. Included in this assessment is:
Body measurements taken – height, weight, BP, pulse etc
Pathology blood test including levels of cholesterol, diabetes, liver, kidney disease, prostate cancer
Lung function assessment
Lifestyle assessment – mental health, family medical history, current lifestyle
Resting ECG or Exercise stress test
60 minute doctor appointment to review the above and discuss any additional areas of concern you may have
The PHA is completely covered by Medicare (Bulk-Billed)