One important factor that men are more at risk of some health issues is that men are less likely to visit their doctor or a pharmacist than women and they are less likely than women to acknowledge illness or seek help (Men’s Health Forum). Some illnesses, such as prostate cancer and testicular cancer, only affect men, so it's important to have a good understanding of what to look out for.  

Testicular cancer

Cancer of the testicle is 1 of the less common cancers, and tends to mostly affect men between 15 and 49 years of age.

Typical symptoms are a painless swelling or lump in 1 of the testicles, or any change in shape or texture of the testicles.

It's important to be aware of what feels normal for you. Get to know your body and see a GP if you notice any changes. The good news is that, when caught early, testicular cancer is highly treatable and highly curable.

Learn more about testicular cancer on the NHS website.

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. About 1 in 8 men in the UK will develop it in their lifetime. Prostate cancer mostly affects men over the age of 50, and your risk increases with age. The risk is even higher for black men and men with a family history of prostate cancer.

There is no national screening programme for prostate cancer. Instead, there is an informed choice programme. This is called prostate cancer risk management. Healthy men aged 50 or over can ask their GP about PSA testing and have a conversation about whether this is right for you.

A PSA test is a blood test used to measure the level of Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) concentration in the blood. It’s the primary method of testing for prostate cancer and it can be carried out free on the NHS after a conversation with your GP. Learn more about PSA tests.

If results show a raised PSA level, your GP may suggest further tests to help decide if you need further treatment.

When should I see my doctor?

Cancer Research UK recommends you see your doctor if you have:

  • An unusual lump or swelling in part of one testicle
  • A sharp pain in the testicle or scrotum
  • A heavy scrotum
  • An increase in the firmness or feel
  • An unusual difference between one testicle and the other

Your symptoms are unlikely to be cancer but it’s important to get them checked by a doctor.

Do you know how to check your pair? You can complete a self-check every month or so. This will help you learn how things normally look and feel, making it easier for you to notice any changes. Watch the video from Movember below to how to do this, step by step.

NHS research suggests that compared to women, men are more likely to eat unhealthy levels of red meat, processed meat, and salt, and to eat too few fruits and vegetables.

Healthy food for the mind
  • Exercise: Has been shown to have positive impacts on both mental and physical health. It can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as improve sleep quality and energy levels. For more information and resources on physical exercise, click here.
  • Socialising and group activities: Feeling connected to one another has been found to have a positive impact on our mental health. There are lots of ways that we can achieve this, for example, through meeting up with friends, sharing hobbies together or joining team sports. You can find more information about this here.
  • Creating something: Be it art, music, carpentry or even cooking – can have a positive impact on our mental health. Getting creative requires focus and concentration, and allows someone to disconnect from the everyday worries and stressors we might have.​​​​​​​
  • Mindfulness: Paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – can improve your mental wellbeing. Join our mindfulness practitioner, Peter Helmer, runs free weekly virtual mindfulness classes.​​​​​​​
  • Spending time outdoors: Research suggests that spending at least two hours a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing. It is also possible to combine time in nature with other mental health strategies such as exercise and physical activity. For more information read more here.​​​​​​​
  • Talking to someone: You do not have to go through any difficulties alone.

If you would like to discuss how you have been feeling, and how we can support you with your mental health, please contact us via telephone 0300 123 1705 or email which is available Monday-Friday between 9am and 5pm. If you would like to refer yourself for talking therapy, please complete our self-referral form.

Unhealthy food for the mind
  • Smoking, alcohol and drugs: Research shows smoking, alcohol and drugs increase the likelihood of developing a mental health condition, such as anxiety and tension. In the long term it can also worsen existing symptoms and make harder to treat. Visit our substance use self-help page for free access to resources.​​​​​​​
  • Binge eating: Regular binge eating can lead to feelings of embarrassment, guilt and shame. It can also lead to physical health difficulties as a result of weight gain. Visit our nutrition and physical health self-help page for free access to resources. ​​​​​​​
  • Overworking: Working long hours can have an impact on the quality of important areas of your life such as sleep, food/drink intake and relationships with friends and family. ​​​​​​​
  • Excessive spending: This can develop into a habit that becomes hard to stop. It can lead to feelings of guilt and shame, and can potentially damage work life and relationships. Visit our financial wellbeing self-help page for free access to resources.​​​​​​​
  • Risk-taking and addictive behaviours: Risk taking behaviours such as gambling, unsafe sex or pornography addiction can lead to a combination of difficulties. For example, if you are gambling you may find yourself feeling anxious/stressed or having financial difficulties. If you are having unprotected sex you are risking pregnancy, sexually transmitted infection (STI), including HIV, and possibly stress. If you become addicted to sex/pornography then you may find that it becomes difficult for you to control urges or actions, despite the difficulties it may cause in your relationships, finances and professional life, read more here.

Testicular cancer resources:
Prostate cancer and its signs and symptoms:
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