In the UK today, many men wait too long until they visit their doctor. According to the Men’s Health Forum, 1 man in 5 dies before he is 65.
It is important for men to start taking their health seriously. Nationally and locally, there is help, support and services to make that happen.
NHS Health Check
Men that are aged between 40 and 74 that do not have an existing medical condition are entitled to free NHS Health Checks- essentially a mid-life MOT.
An NHS Health Check is available free every 5 years to help you understand your own health and reduce your risk of getting conditions such as heart disease or diabetes.
Around your 40thbirthday you should receive a letter from your GP inviting you to have your health check, but you should not worry if you have not received your letter.
To find out how to arrange your NHS Health Check, the NHS Choices website tells you everything you need to know.
Bowel cancer screening
The NHS provides free bowel cancer screening to all men aged 60 to 75.
In 2014, Public Health England reported that only 53 per cent of men attended their bowel cancer screening test despite being more at risk of developing the condition.
According to Cancer Research UK bowel cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death among men in the UK.
For these reasons, it is advisable that men attend their bowel screening test when they receive their invitation on their 60th birthday and when invited every 2 years.
Cancer of the prostate
On the NHS Choices website it states that prostate cancer is now the most common cancer affecting men in the UK. Each year, around 40,000 new cases are diagnosed every year.
Around 10,000 men die from prostate cancer each year in the UK however, so it is important to be aware of the symptoms of prostate cancer, which can include:
- a persistent need to urinate, particularly at night
- difficulties when starting to urinate
- straining to urinate and maintain flow
- taking a long time to urinate
- pain when urinating
- pain when ejaculating
Less common symptoms of prostate cancer are:
- pain in the lower back, hips or pelvis
- blood in the urine
There is no screening for prostate cancer and the condition develops slowly, over time. Because of this, there may be no symptoms of the condition for many years.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you should visit your doctor, but, it is important to note that they are usually not a sign of cancer.
For more information about prostate cancer, you can visit:
- Prostate Cancer UK, the largest men’s health charity in the UK working to raise awareness, help more men survive and live better with prostate cancer.
- the NHS Choices website about Prostate Cancer
- Macmillan cancer support
Living with prostate cancer
If you are living with prostate cancer, support is available from:
The support group meets every month except December on the last Tuesday of the month at 6.30pm.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) screening
The main blood vessel in the body is the aorta and as some people get older the wall of the aorta in the abdomen, the belly, can become weak.
If the wall of the aorta becomes weak it can start to expand. This forms what is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm, (this is usually abbreviated to just AAA), and is a condition common in men aged 65 or older.
There are usually no symptoms for an abdominal aortic aneurysm and large aneurysms are a rare condition.
If a large abdominal aortic aneurysm ruptures it can cause internal bleeding which will usually be fatal.
The NHS Central England AAA screening programme covers Solihull and all men over 65 will receive a letter inviting them for screening. The programme aims to reduce deaths from abdominal aortic aneurysm by 50 per cent and ensure that they are monitored and treated appropriately.
When you have your abdominal aortic aneurysm screening you will have an ultrasound which should take about 10 to 15 minutes.
If you would like more information about abdominal aortic aneurysms and AAA screening, you can visit the:
You can also contact the Central England AAA Screening Programme directly by:
- emailing email@example.com
- phoning 0121 4243612
The Men's Health Forum (MHF)
The Men’s Health Forum is a charity, which is partnered with the NHS Change for Life programme, to promote men’s health issues.
The Men’s Health Forum also works to provide information and advice about day to day health issues affecting men, as well as embarking on research and campaigning to reduce the death rate in men from preventable health issues.
You can visit The Men’s Health Forum website to learn more, get involved and:
- live text chat with an NHS GP 24 hours a day with the free Man MOT
- sign up to receive the latest men’s health news
- find out how you really are