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Calling all men: Are you at risk for one of these "women's-only" diseases?
Women might be from Venus and men might be from Mars, but neither gender is immune to certain health conditions.
Sure, things like anatomical differences and hormone levels play a major role in determining who comes down with what. But when it comes to these four disorders, don’t think that you’re off the hook.
Breast cancer. Of course, men don’t develop breasts the same way that women do, but it’s still entirely possible for a guy to get breast cancer (it’s very rare, especially in men under age 35). According to WebMD, the “breasts” of an adult man are very similar to the breasts of a girl before puberty. And because it’s technically breast tissue, men can experience the same symptoms that women do. While breast cancer is about 100 times less common among men than women, it’s unlikely that you’ll have to worry about it. But talk to your doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- A lump in your “breast” or general chest area
- Bloody nipple discharge
- Swelling or enlarged breasts
- Inverted nipples
Eating disorders. It’s a typical stereotype that eating disorders only happen in women, but according to the National Eating Disorders Association, one in three people struggling with an eating disorder is male. And disordered eating behaviors (think: binge eating, purging, laxative abuse, and fasting for weight loss) is nearly as common among men as women. Who’s most at-risk? Men who were obese as children, athletes, homosexual or transgender men, and those who tend to have anxiety or other mood disorders. Keep an eye out for symptoms like:
- Preoccupation with food, weight loss, and body image
- Refusing to eat certain foods
- Skipping meals
- Extreme mood swings and withdrawal from usual activities
- Noticeable fluctuations in weight
- Exercising to an extreme
This is not a complete list of warning signs. To learn more, click here.
Osteoporosis. Did you know that men over 50 are more likely to break a bone due to osteoporosis than to get prostate cancer? More than two million men in the United States have osteoporosis, which causes the bones to weaken and break. Women experience rapid bone loss during menopause, but by age 65 or 70, both genders are losing bone mass at the same rate. And according to The Cleveland Clinic, this is also when the absorption of calcium, an essential nutrient for bone health, decreases. Men who have had chronic diseases affecting the kidneys, lungs, stomach, intestines, or hormone levels are more at risk. You may not have any symptoms, but talk to your physician if you experience any of the following:
- Back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra
- Loss of height over time
- A stooped posture
- A bone fracture that occurs too easily
Infertility. According to the Mayo Clinic, up to 15 percent of couples are infertile. And in up to half of these couples, male infertility is the cause. There are four leading causes of infertility in males: a hypothalamic or pituitary disorder, a gonad disorder, a sperm transport disorder, or simply, unknown causes or sperm abnormalities. If you and your partner have been trying for over a year to conceive with no luck, talk to your doctor. They can perform a semen analysis to determine the number and quality of sperm and give you ways to increase your odds at conception.
Sinclair Broadcast Group is committed to the health and well-being of our viewers, which is why we initiated Sinclair Cares. Every month we’ll bring you information about the “Cause of the Month,” including topical information, education, awareness, and prevention. June is Men’s Health Education and Awareness Month.