Monty Don discusses suffering with mental health difficulties

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Good health is important to everyone, regardless of gender or age. However, according to the latest “Age Estimates” reports from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the average life expectancy for men has fallen from 79.2 to 79.

Furthermore, according to the men’s health platform Manual, it is estimated that 100,000 men have died prematurely from preventable medical conditions – that’s one man in five dying before the age of 65.

Earim Chaudry, medical director of Manual, points out there are several common health changes frequently ignored by men.

However, while they could seem minor at first, ignoring any changes to your physical or mental state could be fatal in the long run.

He shared five key health changes men should be aware of, and when to seek help from a doctor.

Trouble urinating

Mr Chaudry explained: “Difficulty urinating, or pain when urinating could be a sign of prostate disease or cancer, which shouldn’t be ignored.

“When the prostate is enlarged, it can press on the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder) which can make it difficult to pass urine.”

According to the NHS, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer for men in the UK.

This type of cancer is slow developing, which means it can go undetected for many years.

Mr Chaudry added: “You might notice an increased need to urinate, straining while you urinate or the feeling as though your bladder isn’t fully emptied.

“While these symptoms don’t necessarily mean you have prostate cancer, it is important to visit your GP as a precaution.”

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Changed to moles

Moles should be observed frequently and any changes noted.

Changes in size, colour or shape should be reported to your GP, who can then offer insight or take a biopsy.

Mr Chaudry explained: “Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world, and currently affects more men than women in the UK, with over 147,000 new cases each year.

“While most moles are not the result of skin cancer, it is important to check your body for any new changes.

“Signs to look out for include the ABCDE rule: asymmetry, border raises, colour change, diameter changes and elevation changes.”

Unusual lumps

Checking your body for lumps is vital, however, among men testicular cancer is one of the most prevalent.

While many cancers develop with age, testicular cancer is usually diagnosed in younger men from ages 15 to 49, with around 2,300 new cases every year.

Mr Chaudry said: “Symptoms include new lumps on either of the testicles, which can either be painful or painless or any changes to the shape or feel of the testicle.

“It is also important to recognise what feels normal to you, to monitor any changes in the shape.

“If you notice any changes or unusual lumps, be sure to get this checked with your GP.

“It is also one of the most treatable cancers in the UK, with 99 percent of men surviving for a year or more after being diagnosed.”

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Chest pain

Although it may be simple to pass of pain in the chest as stress or indigestion, Mr Chaudry says it is vital men are vigilant.

He said: “Many men ignore pain in the chest and mistake this as either indigestion or lack of physical activity, however, this can be a symptom of either heart disease or heart failure.”

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the UK, with 119,000 men having a heart attack each year, compared to 69,000 women.

Mr Chaudry continued: “Chest pain should always be monitored, as this could be a symptom of heart failure or a heart attack.

“Lifestyle changes, as well as medicines, can control heart failure and reduce the chances of a heart attack occurring.”

Low mood and personality changes

A change in mood could be situational, however reoccurring low moods or ongoing personality changes should be recorded.

Mr Chaudry explained: “Whilst a low mood doesn’t always result in depression, it is important to recognise the risk factors.

“Changes in personality or becoming withdrawn can also be a sign, and should be taken seriously.”

As well as speaking to your GP about changes, there are also a number of charities such as Mind and StrongMen who can offer confidential services or simply be there to listen to your concerns.

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