The Importance of Men’s Health Checks

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Movember is a global campaign where men ‘Grow a Mo’ in November. The aim is to raise vital funds and start important conversations about men’s health issues, such as prostate and testicular cancer.

Men will die on average 4.5 years earlier than women, and for reasons that are largely preventable1. This means men can take action to live healthier and longer lives.

One thing that men can do is a health check. This can be at home by way of a testicular check, or professionally through check-ups and prostate screening tests. Testicular home checks and professional men’s health checks can help save men’s lives.

A professional health check gives men a better understanding of their health and personal risks and can detect cancer early. With this knowledge, men can make lifestyle changes to protect and improve their health. What’s more they can get early treatment if a serious condition such as prostate or testicular cancer is found.


Prostate cancer statistics and risk

1 in 8 men get prostate cancer in their lifetime2. It is the most common cancer in UK men.

Men are more at risk of this cancer if they:

            Are 50 or over

            Have a family history (father or brother) of prostate cancer

            Are Black or African Ancestry

            Are obese

If you are more at risk of prostate cancer, you may want to speak to your GP about having a PSA blood test to help detect it. However, you need to be aware that a PSA test is not always accurate and it’s important to understand the implications before having one.



Testicular cancer statistics

Testicular cancer accounts for just 1% of new cancer cases in males in the UK3. But what many people don't realise is that unusually it's not an 'old person' problem. In fact, it's the most common form of cancer in men aged 15 to 39.

Although a young man’s issue, testicular cancer is highly treatable with 91.3% of men surviving it in England for ten years or more3.


Why do a testicular home check?

Because testicular cancer is highly curable if caught early, it is recommended that men do a monthly or regular testicular home check.

Getting to know their testicles and testicular cancer symptoms, men recognise if they have changed or are showing any signs of this cancer. Typically, this is a painless swelling or lump, a change in shape or texture in one of the testicles.

If a testicular home check raises any concerns, you should see your GP as soon as possible.


Why have a professional men’s health check?

A professional men’s health check can identify underlying health problems and cancer early. They can let men know if they are at higher risk of getting certain health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and stroke.

These checks provide the information for men to make informed health decisions. They can make lifestyle changes or get early treatment to improve their health and help save their lives should cancer or another serious health condition be detected.


What does a professional men’s health check entail?

A professional men’s health check is made up of tests and assessments. Screening packages are also available.

With several choices, the specific men’s health check will depend on their age, lifestyle, family history, known conditions and allergies, and the depth of information and number of specific tests wanted.


Ramsay’s core men’s health check

Ramsay Health Care UK offers a selection of men’s health checks to choose from depending on your requirements. You can get advice from a member of our healthcare team about the best health check for you.

Our core men’s health check includes:

                     Body Mass Index (BMI) and body fat check

                     Diet, fitness, and lifestyle assessment

                     Eye test

                     Full blood count and urine tests

                     Cholesterol test

                     Blood pressure check

                     Thyroid analysis

                     Full physical examination including testicles and prostate

                     Heart scan (resting ECG)

                     Chest X-ray.


Prostate screening tests

Men over 50 are more at risk of prostate cancer. This means they can request a PSA test on the NHS. A PSA test measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in a man’s blood. A high level of PSA could be a sign of prostate cancer or another condition.

A PSA test may reassure you if you have a normal test result. It can also find early cancer signs which can allow early treatment and reduce your risk of dying from it.

However, the decision to have a PSA is not straightforward as it can miss cancer and provide false reassurance. Research shows that around 1 in 7 men with prostate cancer will have a normal PSA result and around 3 in 4 men with a raised PSA level will not have cancer4. It can also lead to unnecessary worry and medical tests when there's no cancer or you have slow-growing cancer.

If you have a raised PSA level, you may want a biopsy. This takes a small sample of the prostate and checks it for cancer. It is the only way to know whether you have prostate cancer


Ramsay’s prostate cancer screening

At Ramsay, men of any age who are worried about or at risk of prostate cancer can request a PSA test. One of our experienced healthcare professionals will discuss the implications of the test results and possible next steps in terms of prostate cancer diagnostic tests and treatment.

Other prostate screening tests available at Ramsay include:

                     An MRI scan - of your prostate to help identify signs of prostate cancer.

                     A biopsy – removes a sample and tests for cancer.


In summary

                     Men should check their testicles monthly for any changes.

                     A men’s health check gives men important information about their health.

                     It can let men know if they are at higher risk of getting certain health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and stroke.

                     It can also help detect cancer early.

                     Information from a men’s health check, can support men with lifestyle changes and to get early treatment for cancer and other conditions.







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