The test that
makes men squirm
It’s important for men to have regularhealth checkups that include a digitalrectal exam (DRE). The female equivalentis pap smears and mammograms.
But guys who’ve otherwise escapedany uncomfortable invasive procedurescan be a little squeamish.
The sound of a latex glove beingsnapped on can startle even the moststoic male.
The prostate-specific antigen (PSA)blood test can indicate the possibilityof prostate cancer. It’s beneficial formen to discuss these tests with theirphysicians because some treatmentfor prostate cancer works best whenthe cancer is found early.
Research shows most men do not get
The Big C
regular physical exams. “So it’s very
beneficial when they can discuss prostate
health with their physician and have
these tests (PSA, DRE) done routinely,”
says Pam Heard, executive director of
the Prostate Cancer Centre in Calgary.
While the cause of prostate cancer
is unknown, genetics can play a role,
and family history is important. Diet
may also play a part; avoiding or eating
fewer high-fat foods may be beneficial.
Women talk, men balk.
That’s what often happens whencancer enters people’s lives, even whenit’s only a possibility. Women are likelyto reach out and speak about what’sgoing on, while men tend to seek shelterin silence.
A woman with a breast lumpwill likely see a doctor faster thana man with prostate issues, saysDr. Dean Ruether, medical oncologistand provincial leader of the AlbertaProvincial Genitourinary Tumour Teamfor Alberta Health Services, Cancer Care.In this case, the woman’s proactiveapproach can be life-saving.
Men have a reputation for not askingfor directions, but when dealing withThe Big C, they might want to followwomen’s lead. Guys are at high risk forprostate cancer, which is the third mostcommon cause of death in men due tocancer (after lung and colorectal).
Dr. Todd Anderson’s tips for a healthier heart:
1. Eat healthy. The Mediterranean diet allows people to enjoy moderateamounts of wine (1 to 2 glasses per day), higher amounts of non-refinedcereals, vegetables, fruit and legumes, lower consumption of meat andmoderate consumption of dairy.
2. Exercise. Try 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week, which can be donein 10-minute bouts.
3. Manage weight. An optimal BMI (body mass index) of less than 25 isconsidered healthy for most people. A BMI over 30 is associated withcertain chronic diseases and joint problems.
4. Assess risk. Discuss heart health with a physician. Blood pressure,cholesterol and blood sugar levels are important, as are physical activity,smoking, diet and family history.
the University of Calgary, and the
To the heart
department head of Cardiac Sciences for
Alberta Health Services and the U of C.
In 2008, cardiovascular diseases
accounted for 29 per cent of deaths
in Canada, though the rates of heart
disease (and stroke) have steadily
declined at a rate of 25 per cent over
the past 10 years, according to the
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
Generally, heart disease occurs in men
at an earlier age than women, with men
facing a higher risk after the age of 50,
says Anderson. Both men and women
can lower their risk of cardiovascular
disease by making positive lifestyle
His heart is beating faster than usualand he’s short of breath, signs he maybe falling in love with you, if not for thefirst time, then all over again. He wantsyou so much his chest hurts.
Then again, these might be flagsfor coronary artery disease (CAD), themost common type of heart disease andthe number one killer of both men andwomen. CAD is caused by the hardeningof the arteries: when plaque builds upit restricts blood supply to the heart.
“Symptoms to look out for include anychange in exercise tolerance, an increasein shortness of breath, and chest pain,”says Dr. Todd Anderson, director ofthe Libin Cardiovascular Institute at