If you haven’t gone for your annual check up this year, now is the time to schedule it. Women’s life expectancy is 7 years longer than men’s and can be attributed to their regular doctor visits — so make sure that you are staying up-to-date on your physicals. Regular checkups help prevent diseases and catch them early, before they can become serious problems.
As public health research continues to grow, we are learning more about the myths and facts of men’s health. In short, we can tell you that you can’t go bald from constantly wearing a hat, a high fiber diet won’t prevent cancer and wearing white tighties will not lower your sperm count. The following are myths debunked, providing you with the facts that you need to know.
Table of Contents
- Myth #1: Men Are More Likely to Get Prostate Cancer Than Any Other Cancer.
- Myth#2 : You can’t get a sexually transmitted infection (STI) from oral sex.
- Myth# 3: Erectile Dysfunction is Bound to Happen to Everybody
- Myth# 4: Workout Has to Hurt to be Effective.
- Myth# 5: Chest Pains Are The Main Symptom of a Heart Attack
- Myth# 6: Men Are More Likely to Commit Suicide Than Women
- Myth# 7: Vasectomies Can Cause Testicular Cancer.
- Myth# 8: Only Women Can Get Breast Cancer.
Myth #1: Men Are More Likely to Get Prostate Cancer Than Any Other Cancer.
Fact: This is actually closer to the truth than we would like to think. Prostate cancer is the second highest risk of cancer next to lung cancer for men. The scariest part about this is that prostate cancer typically does not have symptoms in its early stages. If you are to experience symptoms, they would show up as frequent and painful urination, blood in the urine and consistent pain in the lower back, pelvis and thighs.
If you’re concerned you may have prostate cancer, you can sign up for a free prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test done in lieu of a biopsy to test for early signs.The test measures unbound prostate-specific antigen levels in the blood.
There is a myth that a PSA number of 4 or higher immediately indicates signs of prostate cancer, however, it is only just a myth. Higher PSA levels can be caused by trauma or inflammation around the prostate, such as a long bike ride or an infection. If your levels remain high when retested, it is best advised to have a biopsy to diagnose the issue.
Myth#2 : You can’t get a sexually transmitted infection (STI) from oral sex.
Fact: You can most definitely get an STI from oral sex. It is important to get tested regularly if you are having sex with more than one partner. STIs, such as syphilis, cause non-painful sores that can be mistaken for simple skin irritation. Keep in mind that oral herpes can be passed to your genitals through oral sex if your partner currently has an open sore. In genital herpes men, in particular, may not even be aware that they are infected because in most cases, those who are infected won’t show any symptoms such as blisters or even sores. Using a condom or dental dam is the most effective way to prevent yourself from contracting an STI through oral sex. Open communication with your sexual partner can also help to prevent potential infections.
Myth# 3: Erectile Dysfunction is Bound to Happen to Everybody
Erectile dysfunction is a common affliction; however, it will not necessarily happen to every man in his lifetime. Men’s peak level of testosterone is at age 18 and it only decreases from there.
It happens faster for some men than others, however, testosterone levels and erectile dysfunction don’t always correlate with one another. It can happen once and never happen again but that doesn’t mean you will always have a difficult time getting or staying erect from that point forward.
Erectile dysfunction can actually be a telling sign of a bigger health problem such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels. Both conditions impede the blood flow throughout your body, including to your penis.
Myth# 4: Workout Has to Hurt to be Effective.
The old saying of “no pain, no gain” is absolutely not true, but it is a great way to injure yourself and prevent yourself from continuing your training. If your workout is causing you pain, back down to a lighter weight and do more reps rather than risk potential injury. There is also a myth that doing squats is bad for your knees. Squats are actually a very valuable exercise for your lower body if done correctly.
Poor form can put torque on your knees and lower back that can cause not only short-term but long-lasting injuries. Additionally, the myth that the more protein that you ingest the easier it is to build muscle has led men to consume more protein than they should in a day. Aim for one gram of protein for every pound of your target body weight to ensure you are getting enough, but not too much, daily protein.
Myth# 5: Chest Pains Are The Main Symptom of a Heart Attack
The heart doesn’t have many pain receptors, and a heart attack will actually show up as pain in other parts of the body. Regular exercise and a low-fat diet will help keep your cardiovascular system in tip-top shape.
Be sure to incorporate a large amount of fruits and vegetables into your diet as they contain the various micronutrients that help to prevent heart disease from occuring. It is important to care about your heart health because it is the number one killer of men in the United States.
Myth# 6: Men Are More Likely to Commit Suicide Than Women
Men are believed to be the more aggressive gender and it is assumed that they would be more likely to commit suicide than their female counterpart.
However, women are three times more likely to attempt suicide than men. It is true that more men are successful in their attempts than women due to using deadlier means. According to the data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80 percent of deaths by suicide were committed by men.
It is suspected by the May clinic that men are less likely to seek help for mental health issues such as depression, making them more vulnerable to the grim option of suicide.
Myth# 7: Vasectomies Can Cause Testicular Cancer.
This claim has been proven to be false in numerous studies. It is, however, more common for testicular cancer to occur in an undescended testicle.
You can rest at ease knowing that being diagnosed is very rare and a man has a 1-in-263 chance of getting testicular cancer in their lifetime.
If you do get testicular cancer, the good news is that it is one of the most treatable forms of cancer. In the event that you have to have a testicle removed, it will likely not lower your sex drive. If both testicles have to be removed this can result in infertility and a lack of interest in sex. And no, testicular cancer cannot be caused by an injury to your testicles.
Myth# 8: Only Women Can Get Breast Cancer.
Men may not have breasts but they still have fatty tissue that is capable of accumulating cancer cells. In fact, 2,550 men are predicted to be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. The unfortunate truth is that 480 of those men die per year due to lack of detection.
Women are hyper aware of their risk of breast cancer and therefore commonly screen themselves and self test often. If you have a history of breast cancer in your family, it is particularly important to self test by feeling around your nipple and across your chest for small sized lumps — they can be as small as a pea. It is more commonly found in men over the age of 60 and those considered to be obese.
Stay on top of your regular doctors’ appointments to ensure that you are keeping your body as healthy as possible. Preventative care is the best way to maintain optimum health and provide you with up-to-date knowledge with how your body is doing.
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