Prostate Health a Must for Baby Boomer MenWhy is it that the more years you tack on to your life, the more times it seems you have to urinate? It’s one of the health banes of Baby Boomers (and anyone that gets old really).
Access to a bathroom becomes as large an issue as access to good health care. Which is why pharmaceutical companies have targeted the Baby Boomer men’s market for a variety of medications designed to ease and control the urge to purge the bladder.
You’ve heard the pitch: You don’t have a growing problem, you have a going problem. In general, the issue is twofold – the prostate and the bladder – and sometimes the two are intertwined.
Prostate issues can be responsible for pressing on the bladder, creating urges to pee, difficult urination, weak stream, and feeling like you haven’t emptied your bladder even after urination.
The biggest concern is the prostate because, as men age, they have a greater risk to experience an enlarged prostate, and in some cases prostate cancer – which is the most common cancer among American men.
When it comes to prostate concerns, every man over 50 – or even younger – should consult their physician and have themselves tested – with a blood test to measure PSA, the Prostate-Specific Antigen that is a measure of prostate health. Also, a digital rectal exam by your physician can allow them to feel your prostate to get an idea of its size.
A high PSA reading is not always bad news. Your physician generally will test to see if your reading increases with each blood test that is taken. Again, the best information about you and your prostate health will be between you and your doctor.
A growing prostate can raise a concern, but not always. Sometimes a growing prostate is just a symptom of age. It’s called benign prostatic hyperplasia, and there are drugs designed to reduce urinary blockage and improve urine flow.
The most recent advocate of prostate health is tennis champion John McEnroe, who turned 50 this year. Like most younger men, and given his good health as he continued to play tennis, he ignored his prostate. This was until his 74-year-old father was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Now McEnroe, who will announce this year’s U.S. Open tennis championship in New York, has partnered with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to raise prostate awareness.
“I just celebrated my 50th birthday, and while I’m still as active as ever, I know there are certain health issues I need to stay on top of, including my prostate health,” said McEnroe. “Now I’m asking other men to take the ’50 Over 50 Prostate Health Challenge.’ It’s all about talking to your doctor and getting serious about your prostate health.”
McEnroe and GSK have the following advice:
- Take a brief online prostate health assessment;
- See a doctor for a prostate-health exam;
- And lastly, if you always have to know where the bathrooms are, you definitely need to know your PSA.
About the Author
Paul Briand spent 33 years in newspaper journalism. Based in New Hampshire, he now writes about issues of interest to Baby Boomers.