Many of men’s most common diseases can be treated if detected early enough, making a regular check-up not only sensible but also a responsible action.

According to Harvard University’s research findings, the average male pays less attention to their health than the average female and is less likely to have a medical check-up. Stats SA’s ranking of the top causes of men’s natural deaths in South Africa (see below) should motivate men to be more diligent about screenings and check-ups.

  • TB
  • HIV
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Influenza and pneumonia
  • Stroke

The value of visiting a Link pharmacy extends beyond screenings, doing check-ups and dispensing medication. The  pharmacist is also there to offer professional advice on how to prevent diseases through living a healthy lifestyle,  maintaining a sensible diet and suggesting preventative medication. 

We are now in Flu Season (March – September) and with influenza featuring so prominently on Stats SA’s list, men  should consider talking to their Link pharmacist about the flu vaccine.  

Risks per age group.

MyhealthKC, a member of the Advent Health group, discussed the need for preventative care in the 20s, 30-40s and  50+ age groups.

20s.

A sense of invincibility in this age group can result in check-ups not being a priority. This can lead to seemingly small  problems not being detected and treated. At this age, males can enjoy a fairly high metabolism so while they may appear fit, the results of a poor diet may only present later.

Covering some of this age group and extending into the 30-40s, testicular cancer is most common between the ages  of 15-35. According to the Mayo Clinic, it can respond well to treatment if detected early. One should always consult  with a GP if the following symptoms are experienced: a lump in either testicle; a heavy feeling in the scrotum; a sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum; discomfort or pain in a testicle or scrotum; enlargement of a breast, or back pain.

30’s – 40’s

Men in this age group should pay special attention to preventative care as habits formed in this life stage can  increase the risk of disease in later years. Areas for special attention include:

  • Cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease

Talk to your Link pharmacist about preventative medication, a healthy lifestyle and how frequently you should be screened.

50+

Three areas to keep a keen eye on are:

  • Colon cancer, which is far more treatable if caught early.
  • Prostate cancer, where an enlarged prostate can cause discomfort and possibly lead to cancer.
  • Heart disease, the leading cause of death in men aged 45-54. Poor diet, stress, and a lack of exercise can increase the risk. Individual risk levels should be assessed in order to determine the frequency of screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure, and general cardiovascular health.

As important as screenings and check-ups is knowing how often you should be checked as it can differ according to age and medical history.

Covid-19 and mental wellbeing.

A survey conducted by Healthline found that the impact of Covid-19 on men’s mental wellness was far higher than that of the 2008 global market crash. While many of the men surveyed felt too embarrassed to seek help, the dramatic fall out of Covid-19 meant that depression and anxiety was a natural outcome for many people. Having mental health issues is not a stigma and men struggling with this condition should be encouraged to seek professional help.

“Surveys suggest that men do not appear to pay the same attention to their wellbeing as women do. Ironically, this impacts on the women closest to the men – the wives, partners, daughters, sisters and mothers. While the global Men’s Health Awareness campaign falls in June, diseases do not have a timetable. Our Link pharmacies are open throughout the year to assist in detecting diseases at an early stage and offer customers the professional advice and  medication needed to improve the chances of preventing diseases. Link pharmacy owners are cornerstones of their communities and are there to help – the reason why Link is known as the ‘Good Health’ pharmacy”, says Link’s Ryan Conybeare.

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While all reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this article, information may change or become dated, as new developments occur. The Link group shall not be held liable or accountable for the accuracy, completeness or correctness of any information for any purpose. No content in this article, irrespective of the date or reference source, should be viewed as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor, pharmacist or any other suitably qualified clinician.