Slightly more than one in every four men (26 percent) have not seen a doctor or other health professional in the past 12 months, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is a troubling tendency, said Eric Klein, M.D., chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute, considering many diseases and cancers that affect men are highly treatable—and even curable—if detected early.
About one in 250 men will develop testicular cancer in their lifetime, while one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
“Men are sometimes reluctant to see a doctor for any number of reasons, ranging from embarrassment to simply not making the time for their personal health,” Dr. Klein said. “It’s important for men to pay attention to the signs their bodies are giving them.”
In recognition of Men’s Health Month in June, Dr. Klein offers the following tips for men to follow – and signs they should be aware of – to better “protect their package”.
Five Ways to Protect Your Package:
- Check yourself out. Men under the age of 35 are at a higher risk for testicular cancer. Do a monthly self-exam at home and make sure you get a yearly checkup from your physician. For those over 45, a baseline prostate exam is recommended, with subsequent follow-up exams determined by each individual’s symptoms and risk factors.
- Kick the habit. Smoking cigarettes contributes to the development of kidney and bladder cancers.
- Pay attention to your penis. Any new warts, blisters or spots could be a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or cancer.
- Communicate with your sexual partners. HPV, the main culprit for cervical cancer in women, can also cause penile cancer.
- Monitor your nighttime habits. Frequent trips to the bathroom at night could indicate an enlarged prostate.
Five Urological Symptoms Men Shouldn’t Ignore:
- Any type of pain “down there”. This could indicate testicular torsion, kidney stones or an infection.
- Blood in the urine. It could mean anything from a kidney stone, to cancer to an infection to kidney trouble.
- Erectile dysfunction. Not only is it a problem in the bedroom, but it can also be a symptom of blocked arteries and even type 2 diabetes.
- A lump inside the testicle. This could be a sign of testicular cancer.
- Warts, blisters or spots on the penis. It could be an STD or cancer.
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