Byline: ANGELA DOWDEN
FEW women have escaped being poked, prodded or otherwise examined for the sake of their health.
But while a lifetime of cervical smears, breast examinations and childbearing leaves us with few inhibitions, when it comes to asking a doctor for advice, the same cannot be said for our husbands and partners.
Recently, a Gallup Survey for the educational campaign organisation, Men's Health Matters, revealed that 31 pc of men would delay seeing a doctor about a health problem until it became more irritating. And while one in three men say they are fairly happy to visit their doctor, one in two women claim they have to force the issue.
So could this forget-it-and-it-might-go-away attitude be sending men to an early grave? With male life expectancy already being around five years less than that of women, experts are worried that it could.
A practical answer could be for you to recognise early warning symptoms in your man and help him do the same. To get you acquainted, here's our guide to spotting when something could be seriously wrong with your man's health.
YOUR man's waist measurement can be an accurate indicator of his potential health problems. According to a study in the medical journal, The Lancet, the healthiest waist measurement for males is below 37in; above 40in is associated with a significantly higher risk of diabetes, heart problems and back pain.
NOTABLE enlargement of a testicle, or any unusual lumps or swellings that can be felt when the testicle is gently rolled between finger and thumb can sometimes be a sign of testicular cancer.
The disease is highly treatable when caught in the early stages, so make sure he seeks medical advice without delay.
(Don't mistake the epididy-mus for a lump, though - this is the large sperm-carrying structure that lies along the top and back of the testicle.)
VISITING the loo more frequently, or getting up to go during the night could be a sign of prostate enlargement.
The condition is common over the age of 50, and affects a third of men above 65.
It is usually a benign condition which can respond to self-help measures (e.g. zinc, fatty acid and herbal treatments), but may require drugs or routine surgery. In a small number of cases, changes in urination habit can indicate prostate cancer, so it's essential that medical attention is sought early.
snoring punctuated with periods of silence could indicate sleep apnoea (meaning cessation of breathing).
After the periodic breaks in breathing, the sufferer snorts, gasps, moans or thrashes out while fighting to regain breath. The frequent rise to semi-consciousness disrupts REM sleep and causes daytime tiredness. If you suspect he has apnoea, it's essential your partner gets a full medical assessment because the condition can be linked with heart problems.
MOST moles have a diameter no larger than the blunt end of a pencil, so if you notice one growing (on his back, for example), make sure he gets it checked. Other signs that may indicate early melanoma skin cancer include an irregular or ragged outline to the blemish, crusting, bleeding, itching or inflammation, and colour changes.
Although melanoma is the most serious skin cancer, early detection and excision will markedly reduce the chances of it spreading. …