This article is authored by Miguel Aragon, vice president of Urology and Pevic Health EMEA at Boston Scientific, and was originally published on LinkedIn.
Let’s raise awareness around common but unspoken men’s health issues. There are solutions to treat them.
Talking to men about their health can be challenging and, for some, feel taboo. But after the tumultuous year we’ve had, with the COVID-19 pandemic increasing our concerns about healthcare worldwide, it’s more important than ever to be open about men’s health issues - and proactive about the solutions.
“Men’s health conditions only affect fragile and elderly men”
The reality is quite different. Being young and healthy doesn't make you immune to common men’s health problems.
About half of males by the age of 60 suffer from Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), a troublesome condition that puts pressure on the bladder and the urethra affecting the way men urinate.
Over half of the male population between 40 and 70 are also affected by erectile dysfunction.
There are treatments for patients of all ages.
Men like to appear in control of everything in their lives and unaffected by doubt. However, after a major medical event, they can lose confidence and struggle with the short- and long-term effects.
A large portion of men treated for prostate cancer will unfortunately suffer from incontinence. With that can come a lack of confidence, embarrassment, and feelings of insecurity. Usually incontinence is temporary, but when it becomes persistent it potentially needs treatment.
After treating prostate cancer, most men might suffer negative changes to their sexual function. Erectile dysfunction also causes lack of self-confidence, besides limiting a man’s intimacy. That said, only a third of men have tried any treatment to improve their situation.
“Prostate cancer is one of the main killers. If it doesn’t kill you, your quality of life after prostate cancer is lower and there is nothing you can do about it.”
Modern technology increased the chance of surviving prostate cancer, but survivors sometimes suffer from side effects such as erectile, urinary and bowel dysfunction, unaware of the existence of effective solutions.
A prostate cancer diagnosis does not mean your quality of life is over. It can return to normal with the right treatment options.
Today, men can rely on a growing range of non-surgical and surgical treatment options.
Let’s use this month to make our voices heard and to reach as many people as possible. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about: health issues can affect us all, at all stages of our lives, no matter our age, personalities or medical records.
Let’s all work together to make sure that men, their families and healthcare providers are all aware of available solutions.
Let’s be proactive, let’s get informed, and let’s support the men of our communities.
- - Rees J, Bultitude M, Challacombe B. The management of lower urinary tract symptoms in men. BMJ. 2014;348:g3861. Abstract
Barry M, Roehrborn C. Management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Ann Rev Med. 1997 Feb;48:77-189.
Berry SJ, Coffey DS, Walsh PC, et al. The development of human benign prostatic hyperplasia with age. J Urol. 1984 Sep;132(3):474-9.
 Hamstra DA, Mariados N, Sylvester J, et al. Sexual quality of life following prostate intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) with a rectal/prostate spacer: Secondary analysis of a phase 3 trial. Pract Radiat Oncol. 2018 Jan -Feb;8(1):e7-e15.
 Hamstra DA, Mariados N, Sylvester J, et al. Continued benefit to rectal separation for prostate radiation therapy: Final results of a phase III trial. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2017 Apr 1;97(5):976-85.