Taking Charge of Men’s Health

By Dr. Raj Nagarkar, MD & Chief of Surgical Oncology, Robotic Services, HCG Manavata Cancer Centre, Nashik

When it comes to health, men often tend to neglect their well-being. However, it’s essential to understand that men face unique health challenges, including a higher risk of certain types of cancer. Therefore, men must prioritize their health and take preventive measures to reduce the likelihood of developing cancer. Regular check-ups play a vital role in detecting and treating potential health issues at an early stage. Below are some effective strategies for preventing cancer in men and highlight the significance of routine check-ups in safeguarding men’s overall well-being.

Understanding the Prevalence of Cancer in Men:

Cancer is a significant cause of illness and mortality worldwide, affecting millions of individuals every year. While both men and women can develop cancer, certain types are more commonly found in men. Prostate, lung, colorectal, and bladder cancer are among men’s most prevalent cancers.

Cancer Preventive Measures:

•    Prostate Cancer: Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men. To reduce the risk of developing this type of cancer, men should consider the following strategies: a) Regular Screening: Men aged 50 and above, or those with a family history of prostate cancer, should undergo regular screenings such as prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests and digital rectal examinations. b) Healthy Lifestyle Choices: Adopting a healthy lifestyle, which includes maintaining a balanced diet, engaging in regular exercise, and limiting alcohol consumption, can significantly reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

•    Lung Cancer: Lung cancer poses a significant concern for men, mainly due to a higher prevalence of smoking among males. To promote lung cancer prevention: a) Quit Smoking: If you smoke, quitting is the most crucial step to protect your lung health. You can seek support or join smoking cessation programs for effective strategies and assistance. b) Avoid Secondhand Smoke: Limit your exposure to secondhand smoke, as it can also increase the risk of lung cancer.

•    Colorectal Cancer: Colorectal cancer affects both men and women and can often be prevented through early detection. Consider the following measures: a) Regular Screening: Men aged 45 and above, or those with a family history of colorectal cancer, should undergo regular screenings such as colonoscopies or faecal occult blood tests (FOBTs). b) Balanced Diet: Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins in your diet while reducing the consumption of processed foods and red meat.

•    Bladder Cancer: Bladder cancer predominantly affects men and is often linked to smoking and exposure to certain chemicals. To minimize the risk: a) Quit Smoking: Like with lung cancer prevention, quitting smoking significantly reduces the risk of bladder cancer. b) Occupational Safety: If you work with chemicals or other hazardous substances, follow safety guidelines and use protective equipment to minimize exposure.