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by James Thomas, Thursday, November 16, 2017 | Categories: Mens Health

What Men Need to Know About Prostate Cancer

Since 2003, the Movember Foundation has spent the eleventh month of every year raising awareness for a variety of men’s health issues. In that time, over £400 million has been raised and gone into the funding of over 1,000 different projects looking into issues such as testicular cancer, mental health and prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK; around 40,000 new diagnoses are made every single year. Though the survival rate for prostate cancer is good (around 84% of men will survive for ten years or more), it’s still a huge health concern for British men. Diagnosis can often be delayed for many years, as symptoms do not always develop in the disease’s early stages, and those who survive can be affected by a number of unpleasant side effects.

In honour of Men’s Health Awareness Month, we’ve put together a guide to prostate cancer. If you’re concerned about your prostate health, or the prostate health of someone you love, read on.

The Causes of Prostate Cancer

No one precise cause for prostate cancer has been established, but there are some risk factors to be aware of. These include:

  • Age: the older you get, the more likely you are to develop prostate cancer (most cases occur in the over-50s)
  • Family history: having close family members who suffered from prostate cancer can be a risk factor
  • Ethnicity: if you are of Afro-Caribbean or African descent, you have an increased likelihood of developing prostate cancer
  • Lifestyle: if you are obese and/or you don’t exercise regularly you are more likely to develop prostate cancer

Lowering your Risk of Prostate Cancer

While you cannot alter your age, family history or ethnicity, knowing that you are high-risk for prostate cancer will typically help with early diagnosis (in the event that you develop the disease).

Men who are not of African descent and who have no family history of prostate cancer may want to speak to their GP about their risk once they hit 50. Men who are of African descent, or who have a family history of prostate cancer, should usually start to talk to a doctor about their risk a few years earlier – normally at around 45. Early diagnosis will usually make treatment easier and more successful.

To mitigate your risk you can also try practising a healthy lifestyle. Try to take regular exercise (the NHS recommends 2.5 hours of moderate exercise, or 75 minutes of more vigorous exercise a week, as well as strength exercises two days a week) and eat a healthy, balanced diet that is low in saturated fat, sugar and salt.

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer doesn’t always cause symptoms in its early stages, but it’s still a good idea to familiarise yourself with some of the indications of the disease. Symptoms can include:

  • Needing to urinate more frequently, particularly during the night
  • Difficulty in beginning to urinate, and maintaining urination
  • Weak flow of urine
  • Feeling that your bladder has not totally emptied when you have finished urinating

These symptoms do not necessarily point to cancer – many men experiencing trouble urinating as they get older, often as a result of benign enlargement of the prostate – but it's worth visiting a doctor.

When prostate cancer spreads it can cause other symptoms such as loss of appetite, testicular pain, unexplained weight loss, and pain in the back. Again, none of these symptoms is specific to prostate cancer, but you should visit your doctor if you are experiencing any of them.

Diagnosing and Living With Prostate Cancer

Diagnosing prostate cancer can be tricky, and normally involves a few different tests. You will usually have to give a urine sample, a blood sample, and have your prostate examined by the doctor.

Treatment will depend upon the nature of the cancer, and your age and general health. In some cases, living with prostate cancer will require the treatment of the disease’s side effects.

The good news is that our understanding of prostate cancer is improving all the time, and that there are many resources available to support men with the disease. Learn more by visiting Prostate Cancer UK or talking to your doctor.

by Robert MacKay, Friday, July 27, 2012 | Categories: Mens Health

The quest for a trustworthy male contraceptive continues but despite some innovative ideas and some ground-breaking medical discoveries, have we really come any closer to finding something that really will work?

The latest in a long list of potential male contraceptives is the testosterone injection. The testosterone is administered via injection into the buttocks and needs to be injected on a monthly basis. When the body detects too much testosterone in the system then it stops the production of sperm. A two year trial was carried out in China and 1,000 men participated. It was reported that 95% of pregnancies were prevented but it this good enough?  The female contraceptive pill is 99% effective at pregnancy prevention and that 4% risk is probably not worth taking – especially when it involves a monthly intramuscular injection.

It says it all really that one third of the participants dropped out before the trial had even been completed and this was seemingly down to the hassle of having to have an injection every month. Furthermore, some of the men were anxious over known potential side effects such as changes to mood, a decrease in sex drives and skin problems like acne. This injection might be more hassle than it’s worth especially considering its mere 95% prevention rate.

Other pills being developed and researched presently include a paralysing pill which temporarily paralyses certain muscles of the reproductive system in males and results in a dry ejaculation where no fluid is released. In addition, ultrasound blasts that could offer up to 6 months of sperm free testes and as discussed in a recent blog, scientists are still working on the gene, Katnal1, which could potentially help them to create the first ever non-hormonal male contraceptive.

Then there is the 10 year contraceptive which blocks the vas deferens with a coating of gel which breaks the membranes of sperm cells rendering them unable to fertilise an egg but just how safe and effective these contraceptives will prove to be when the time comes remains to be seen. The study in China has definitely not got us excited about the male contraceptive but we’ll keep this blog updated regularly in the event of a ground-breaking development.

It is an observed phenomenon that people tend to put on weight when they get old. This is normally related to a change in the production of hormones by the body. In men, testosterone levels reduce with age and the reduction in testosterone is associated with a gain in weight. Obese men quite often have low levels of testosterone.

We have seen a study that has been trumpeted in the medical press about injecting obese men with slow release testosterone, with a gradual reduction in weight and fatty mass being observed. These results do not particularly surprise us but it is the only long term study that we have seen. The patients were treated over a 5 year period and the average weight loss over that period was 13%.

The form of testosterone that was injected was testosterone undecanoate – this is available in the EU but we do not prescribe it as it really should be done in a face to face environment. We would also recommend that an androgen profile is done before this medication is prescribed.

by Robert MacKay, Monday, May 28, 2012 | Categories: Mens Health

There has been talk over the years about the possible production of the male contraceptive pill but recent studies show that we are getting closer to a discovery. Since the identification of a specific gene that stymies the late development of sperm in the testes, researchers have been excited about the first ever non-hormonal contraceptive treatment for men.

The gene has been identified as Katnal1 and where the gene’s function is disrupted, the sperm that await fertilisation in the testes are not released. The drug does not hinder sperm development in the early stages of development, meaning that the effects of the drug on sperm production can be reversed when the medication dosing is ceased.

Overall, this is an exciting development for men, women and for sexual health. Halving the responsibility in this way in terms of birth control will be a major development regarding contraceptive use. The gene has been identified and now a way to target the gene in human beings needs to be researched in order to progress with the development of a non-hormonal male contraceptive pill.

by Robert MacKay, Wednesday, May 16, 2012 | Categories: Mens Health | Womens Health

The Online Clinic are now prescribing treatment for Thrush, a fungal or yeast infection that both men and women can suffer from and can recur.  We are happy to treat those who have been diagnosed with the infection before and are familiar with the symptoms when they recur.

We now prescribe Fluconazole and it can be purchased online after a medical consultation has been filled out and a patient has been approved for treatment. Fluconazole is an oral treatment in the form of a capsule. Only one capsule is required to treat the infection. Symptoms will disappear within a period of 10 days. We are also prescribing Gyno-Daktarin cream and pessaries for women.

All of our treatments are available for next day delivery once orders are placed between Monday to Friday and before 4pm.

You can get your thrush treatment by clicking here.

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