Updated June 2021.
(TRIGGER WARNING: This post discusses mental health and suicide)
Men! We need to talk…Men’s Health Week has just finished and it brings into sharp focus some of the truly startling statistics around men’s health in Australia. We’ve compiled a list of five of the top issues facing men’s health, and the first steps you or the man in your life can take to address them.
So let’s look at that last one first…
In 2017, 26% of all deaths by Australian males can be attributed to cardiovascular disease. Why so high?
Because there are can be a lot of contributing factors including:
The first step with ANY health concern is to contact a health professional for a thorough, individual assessment based on your medical history and circumstances. Assessing your heart health with a SwiftDoc GP might involve starting off with a blood test. It’s as simple as getting the blood test form emailed to you, you get the test, then we email you the results. The outcome of the tests will determine the next steps.
Sadly prostate cancer kills around 3,500 men in Australia each year. It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australian men, and it kills more men than breast cancer kills women.
It is also the sixth leading cause of death for Australian men – so worth talking about!
One of the issues with prostate cancer is that there might not be any symptoms initially. Some symptoms you may experience are discomfort or difficult urinating, or the frequent or sudden need to urinate. Blood in the urine is another possible symptom.
As always, the recommendations of your GP are guided by your own personal medical history. Your SwiftDoc GP may start by ordering a Prostate Specific Antigen blood test. This tests for the levels of this protein. Depending on the results, next steps could be an ultrasound, an MRI or even a biopsy.
Getting the blood test done is an easy first step – we email you the form, you get the test, then we email you the results.
Cure rates for prostate cancer are improving, but sadly there is still a way to go. If you are at all concerned, don’t hesitate to book an appointment for a chat.
It’s a shame that this topic makes the list, but sadly, nearly half of all men have experienced a mental health disorder. Even worse, mental health issues in men are becoming more prevalent, and especially so in relation to Covid-19, and stresses around the uncertainty of the pandemic, job insecurity, extended lockdowns and long periods without seeing friends or family. In fact, during the nationwide lockdown in 2020, there was a significant increase in the use of Medicare-subsidised mental health Telehealth services, calls to Lifeline and Beyond blue, and prescriptions for mental health related medication.
The most heartbreaking statistic of all is that men comprise on average, six out of every eight suicides every day in Australia. That’s almost twice the number of fatalities as the road toll, and suicide remains the number one cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44.
Men in particular sometimes have a habit of pushing mental health into the background. But like every other medical condition what you need is an action plan for recovery.
In a consultation with one of our SwiftDoc GPs, they may discuss things such as stress management, sleep, medication, or refer you for psychological support. We can help right away, and you can talk to us from the comfort of your own home. We also have excellent mental health practitioners who can consult with you online as well.
There are lots of reasons for a decline in mental health. Whatever the reason, we encourage you to talk to trusted family and friends, and engage a GP for professional support.
The statistics around diabetes are truly mind-blowing:
Even more alarmingly, diagnoses of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes is growing at a much faster rate than any other chronic disease. It goes without saying that this is a significant issue facing Australian men. Type 1 diabetes can’t be prevented, but you may be able to delay or even prevent Type 2 diabetes.
We encourage you to talk to a SwiftDoc GP as soon as possible. In the consultation, we may run through things such as lifestyle changes you can make, and medical management options for your diabetes diagnosis.
This is a big topic, so to narrow it down, we’re just going to chat about male infertility.
Did you know that around 30% of fertility issues originate in the man? This could be due to poor quality sperm, low sperm count, a blockage, functional problems or hormonal problems.
Obviously this can impact a couple’s chances of a successful pregnancy.
Did you also know that male infertility issues are on the rise?
Low sperm count is more common than ever and as men are starting families at a later age, sperm quality is lower too (busting the myth that men’s virility doesn’t decline with age).
There are also lifestyle factors that may play a part such as:
With so many factors in play, we suggest you start by chatting with a SwiftDoc GP. They may run through all these lifestyle factors with you, and run some tests to check your hormones and sperm count/quality. Depending on the outcome of those, they may also arrange scans for further investigation. They can also advise you on your options such as IVF.
But we hope that this information has encouraged more men to seek help with their health, and to adopt a proactive rather than reactive approach to their healthcare.
Of course, everyone is different, so contacting a GP is always a good first step.
Book an appointment to discuss any of these (or any other medical concerns) today.
This website does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately dial Triple 0 (000).