Five things men need to know about health
WARWICK men have become more proactive about their health in the past couple of decades, but heart disease and cancer are still affecting patients when risks can be reduced.
In honour of Men's Health Week this week, Dr Lynton Hudson from the Condamine Medical Centre has shared a few things men need to know about health to reduce their risk and nip problems in the bud.
1. Heart disease one of the biggest health challenges for Warwick men, but men can slash their risk
It may bring many Warwick men into a doctor's office, but according to Dr Hudson lifestyle changes can slash the risk of heart disease.
Lack of exercise is the third biggest risk factor for heart disease, with alcohol, cigarettes and blood pressure all contributing to the risk.
Dr Hudson said it was important to remember changing risk factors were within the person's control.
"If we know what the risk factors are, reminding people about lifestyle can make a big difference," he said.
Dr Hudson said exercise also helps with other conditions such as osteoarthritis and mood disorders.
2. Check ups at the right times can catch issues early
Dr Hudson recommended getting a yearly check for prostate cancer and bowel cancer once a man turns 50.
But this frequency will also depend on family history, as this can determine whether other measures need to be taken.
"What we are is our genetics and our environment, you can't change the genetics but if you're at high risk we have to double our efforts with environment," he said.
A general health check up is recommended every year after a man turns 40, Dr Hudson said.
Dr Hudson said medical professionals were now picking up a lot of cancers in the early stages.
"We're more proactive because we've got all these treatments and investigations available that make a difference to their outcomes and how long they live their lives," he said.
3. Time in the sun should lead to regular skin assessments
Dr Hudson said men should aim to get a skin check about once a year.
"We diagnose a melanoma about every two weeks, we diagnose pretty early and we get them off," he said.
Dr Hudson said the treatment for melanoma is currently wide early excision.
4. Protection is available for Q Fever
It's a bacterial infection passed to people from animals such as cattle sheep and kangaroos, but there is a vaccine to prevent men from contracting it.
Dr Hudson said patients present to the medical clinic with Q Fever but it was very treatable.
"Like having the flu but you don't have the respiratory symptoms," he said.
If feeling under the weather, it's best to get checked in case it could be Q Fever.
5. Mental health medication now has less side effects than days gone by
Dr Hudson said men had come a long way with seeking regular check ups and being aware of mental health was also on the rise.
Treatments mental health issues was also improving as there are medications available with less side effects, he said.
"In days gone by, men dealt with mental health with alcohol but that is improving," he said.