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GIVE YOURSELF A DIY MALE HEALTH SCREENING

That old cliche about men never going to the doctor is there for a reason; men really do avoid visiting their GP! They tell themselves “It’s probably nothing,” put it to the back of their minds and get on with their day. Men often seek help for illnesses much later than women, and this can often mean that illnesses go untreated and can become serious.

We could write a blog post listing all the reasons men should go to the doctor as soon as they detect any sort of problem – but we know that in reality, you probably wouldn’t read it! Instead, here are a few tips for what you can look for yourself, before you think about going to the GP.

Eyes
● Pull down your lower eye lid. If the inside appears pale rather than pink, this can be a sign of anaemia. Eat more iron rich foods, but also consider going to the doctor for a check-up.
● If the whites of your eyes have a yellow tinge, this could be a sign of jaundice, indicating a problem with the liver. Speak to your GP.
● A grey ring around the white of your eye could mean you have high cholesterol, especially in younger people. Time to call the doctor for a test.

Skin
● Check moles for signs of changes. If a mole has changed in shape, size, colour or texture you should visit your GP as soon as possible. If you’re concerned about a particular mole, take a photo of it for comparison in a couple of weeks’ time.
● A red nose doesn’t just mean you need to cut back on the drink; it could be acne rosacea, which can cause red skin on the face. This is not life threatening, but your GP may be able to prescribe something that can help.

Testicles
● Roll each testicle gently between your fingers, looking and feeling for any hard lumps or smooth rounded bumps. If you find any, or there is a change in the size, shape or consistency of the testicles, make an appointment with your GP.

Mouth
● White patches on your tongue or inside your cheeks could be a sign of thrush. Your GP can prescribe something to help remove it.
● An ulcer or sore that doesn’t clear up for a while could be an early sign of cancer. Head to your GP or dentist to double check.
● Bleeding gums are again, a tell-tale sign of something more serious and should be referred to your dentist.

Chest
● Men can get breast cancer too. It’s important to check on the tissue around your chest on a regular basis. Check out this guide for some tips to help.

Belly
● Measure your waist at the level of your belly button. If your waist is more than 37 inches, you are at risk for many potentially serious health problems and should see a GP for a check up.

Heart Rate
● Your resting pulse is a good indicator of your heart health. Count your pulse for 10 seconds and multiply by six. You should come up with a number between 60 and 100; anything outside of this could be a sign of heart trouble, and you should see your GP.

Men are notoriously bad for getting themselves to the GP, often telling themselves or their partners that it’s nothing or it’ll clear up on its own. Whilst that’s true for a lot of things, and you are doing your bit to ease the burden on our health service, the checks in this article will help to identify those times when you really do need to see a doctor.