There are many threats to men’s health. Their occupation, food intakes, daily routines, and general lifestyle are some of the greatest factors that affect their health. Many of these threats are called as silent killers because they come undetected and have mild symptoms during the early stage. Across the globe, these killer diseases have claimed thousands of life as they become more susceptible to common cures and as men’s lifestyle becomes more uncontrolled.
So what are the greatest threats to men’s health? What killer diseases are most commonly experienced by men around the health? How severe are they?
1. Cardiac Arrest
Cardiac arrest is the number one killer of men. In many cases, they suddenly strike their victims dead without any trace of prior illness. This condition happens when the heart fails to contract effectively, thus ceasing the normal circulation of blood.
Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of sudden cardiac arrest. Like the former, risk factors for sudden cardiac arrest include smoking, lack of physical exercise, obesity, diabetes and family history. Ironically, heart disease is completely preventable. Some of the practices to avoid heart diseases are maintaining a healthy weight, having more fibers and less fat in diet, and keeping blood sugar, body cholesterol and blood pressure under control.
Stroke is one of the most common diseases in both sexes, with men having 1.25 times more risk than women. It happens when there is disturbance in the blood supply to the brain that causes loss of brain functions. It can be due to formation of blood clots (ischemic) or leakage of blood (hemorrhagic). Risk factors of stroke include hypertension, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes and obesity. Some of its symptoms are numbness of the face, arm or leg, trouble speaking or understanding speech, sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes, dizziness, loss of coordination, and sudden severe headache with no known cause. Limiting alcohol consumption, avoiding cigarette smoking, having a proper diet, and exercise are some means to lower the chances of having stroke.
3. Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is the leading cancer in men. It involves the development and growth of cancerous cells in the lungs which eventually spread to the other areas of the body. The major cause of lung cancer is smoking. Other risk factors include exposure to radon or asbestos, air pollution and family history. Unfortunately, symptoms of lung cancer do not show until the disease is at its advanced stage. When they appear, they include coughing, shortness of breath, fatigue, abdominal or arm pain, and repeated lung infections such as pneumonia.
4. Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the second leading cancer in men. It happens when cancerous cells originating in the prostrate grow and develop. These cancerous cells later spread out to the other parts of the body. Risk factors for prostate cancer include increasing age, high-fat diet, genetic background, and medication. Some of the ill effects of this are difficulty in urinating, problems during sexual intercourse, and even erectile dysfunction.
Prostate cancer is usually found in men 50 years and older. It affects one individual for every six men.
5. Colon Cancer
Colon cancer is the third most common cancer is men. It is caused by the growth of cancerous cells in the colon, rectum and appendix. It is not contagious and the likelihood that it happens to different men varies. Risk factors include high-fat intake, genetics and family history of colorectal cancer and polyps, presence of polyps in the large intestine, and chronic ulcerative colitis. Some of the symptoms of colon cancer are fatigue, shortness of breath, change in bowel habits, diarrhea or constipation, red or dark blood in stool, weight loss, abdominal pains, and cramps.
Leukemia is a form of cancer that happens in the tissue that forms the blood. It can be classified as chronic when its development is gradual or acute when it gets worse quickly. Some of its risk factors include radiation, smoking, chemotherapy, and family history. Its symptoms are swollen painful lymph nodes, fever or night sweats, frequent infections, fatigue, bleeding easily, weight loss, and pains in the bones or joints.
Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar. Based on the cause of occurrence, diabetes is classified as Type 1 or 2. Type 1 diabetes results when the body fails to produce enough insulin, and hence, patients are continually injected with insulin. On the other hand, Type 2 diabetes happens when cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced, or there is insulin resistance or improper utilization of insulin by the body. Symptoms of diabetes may include frequent urination, increased thirst and hunger, and blurred vision. Most usually, symptoms develop more rapidly in Type 1 than in Type 2. The cause of diabetes also depends on type. Type 2 is due primarily to lifestyle and genetics, while Type 1 is caused partly by genetics and then triggered by certain infections.
8. Respiratory Diseases
Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are examples of chronic lower respiratory diseases. Smoking is main cause for these diseases. Accordingly, a smoker is twelve times more likely to die of chronic lower respiratory diseases compared to non-smokers. To avoid them, quit or completely avoid smoking, as well as avoiding secondhand smoke.
Influenza and pneumonia are other respiratory diseases that are actually lung infections. They happen when lungs are damaged due to asthma or smoking. Having injections helps reduce the risk of getting them.
9. Liver Disease
Liver disease affects the cells, tissues, structure or functions of the liver. The most common cause of liver is malnutrition, especially when associated with alcoholism. Common symptoms of liver disease include jaundice, yellowing of the skin, darkened urine, nausea, appetite loss, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, light colored stools, abdominal pains, fatigue, and depression.
10. Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease is more common among men 60 years and older. It occurs when one losses the function of his kidney over time, whether gradual or permanent. With the dysfunction of the kidney, there is an accumulation of salts, water, waste and toxic substances in the body which the kidney is supposed to excrete. There are several factors that can cause chronic kidney disease. Some of the leading causes are diseases of the kidneys themselves, diabetes, high blood pressure, HIV infections, kidney stone, and certain cancers. Symptoms of this disease include frequent urination, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, headaches, disturbed sleep and erectile dysfunction.