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September 20, 2012

Everyday Wellness: 4 things men (and women) need to know about prostate health

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Though most people know the importance of prostate health, they may not be aware of these four facts -- valuable for both men and women to know.

1. Beginning at age 50, all men should be screened for prostate cancer. Earlier screening is recommended for African-American men or men with a family history of prostate cancer. Talk to your doctor about what approach would be best for you.

2. After 50, many men develop BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy), an enlargement of the prostate gland. BPH is not cancer and it does not increase your risk for cancer. It can cause discomfort with urination, however, including the need to take more frequent trips to the bathroom and reduced urine stream. Depending upon the severity of the symptoms, treatment may include medications or surgery.

3. These simple lifestyle tips can help minimize the effects of BPH:

* Stay active. Inactivity can cause urinary retention.

* Each time you go to the bathroom, try to empty your bladder entirely.

* During the day, try to urinate on a schedule, whether or not you feel the need to go.

* To reduce your need to go to the bathroom at night, stop drinking water and other liquids after 8 p.m.

* Limit alcohol consumption.

4. Most men say they would get their needed screenings for prostate cancer if reminded to do it by a loving spouse or partner.

Sources: American Urological Association, American Cancer Society, Men’s Health Network

 

How Purdue can help

* Purdue health plans cover preventive care benefits at 100 percent. View guidelines on preventive care.

* WorkLife Programs offers classes on prevention. View current offerings.

* Log in and check out WorkLife Programs’ resource center. Select screenings/wellness/prevention for helpful books, brochures and websites.