Men’s Health – What You Should Know 

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital June 7, 2016

June is Men’s Health Month, a time to address important health issues that impact men’s lives. Read the stories below to learn the latest about prostate cancer, testosterone therapy, erectile dysfunction, and other factors that affect men’s physical and mental health.

Healthy-Men-1Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer May Increase Risk of Depression

A Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) study has found a significant association between depression and patients being treated for localized prostate cancer with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). When compared to patients who did not receive ADT, patients who received ADT had higher incidences of depression and inpatient and outpatient psychiatric treatment.


Healthy-Men-2Testosterone’s Effect on the Heart and Quality of Life

Testosterone use among men doesn’t appear to increase their risk of developing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), a critical risk factor for heart attack and stroke. However, research also shows that men using testosterone fail to realize the quality of life benefits that are often the primary goals of testosterone therapy.


Healthy-Men-3Treatment Options for Erectile Dysfunction

Age, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease contribute to a higher risk of erectile dysfunction (ED), which affects about one half of American men over age 40 at some point in their lives. Most men experiencing ED respond to nonsurgical treatments, such as oral medications or self-injection therapy. However, if these treatments don’t work, surgery may provide another option.


Healthy-Men-4Breakfast Makes a Man’s Heart Healthy

Research shows that men who skip breakfast have a 27 percent higher risk of suffering a heart attack or developing heart disease than those who start the day with something in their stomach. These men who forego breakfast also indulge more heavily in other unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as smoking, exercising less, and drinking alcohol regularly.


Healthy-Men-5Prostate Cancer Screening – Who Recommends PSA Testing?

BWH-led research finds that a patient’s likelihood of getting prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing for the early detection of prostate cancer depends on the type of physician he sees. According to the study’s lead author, the findings highlight the need for physicians to reach a broader consensus on the risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening and the importance of patients discussing their care options with their physicians.

10 Essential Health Screenings for Men

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital June 3, 2014

Every man should have their blood pressure checked regularly. This can be done at the doctor’s office or at home.

Detecting symptoms of certain health conditions early, when they are more easily treatable, is a critical factor in helping men stay healthy. That’s why getting all your doctor-recommended health care screenings in a timely fashion is the kind of to-do list that no man should ignore.

Below is information about ten important health screenings for men, including the appropriate timing for each

1. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Men between the ages of 65 and 75 who have ever smoked tobacco should get screened for an abdominal aortic aneurysm. An imaging test, such as a computed tomography (CT) scan, ultrasound, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study, can help determine the presence, size, and extent of an aortic aneurysm. The major risk of this aortic bulging is a rupture resulting in severe or fatal internal bleeding.

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Don’t Let Your Man Skip Breakfast, for His Heart’s Sake

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital April 24, 2014

Men who skip breakfast are putting their heart health at risk.

If the important men in your life are not eating breakfast, this might help you to convince them they should.

Men who skip breakfast have a 27 percent higher risk of suffering a heart attack or developing heart disease than those who start the day with something in their stomach, according to BWH and Harvard School of Public Health research that was published in Circulation.

“Men who skip breakfast are more likely to gain weight, to develop diabetes, to have hypertension, and to have high cholesterol,” says BWH researcher Eric Rimm, senior author of the study.

For example, breakfast skippers are 15 percent more likely to gain a substantial amount of weight and 21 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, earlier studies have reported.

This study, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, found that these men also indulged more heavily in other unhealthy lifestyle choices. They were more likely to smoke, engage in less exercise, and drink alcohol regularly. The researchers analyzed data culled from a 16-year study of nearly 27,000 male health professionals that tracked their eating habits and overall health from 1992 to 2008. During the study period, 1,572 of the men developed heart disease.

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The Other Half of the Fertility Equation: Male Fertility

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital June 10, 2013

Don't forget the other half of the fertility equation - male fertility.

Today’s post was written by Dr. Elena Yanushpolsky, an infertility specialist with the Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). Dr. Yanushpolsky is also the Director of the BWH Center for Infertility and Reproductive Surgery at South Shore Hospital in South Weymouth.

A couple, both about 33 years old, recently came to my clinic after trying to conceive for 18 months without success. After evaluating both of them, we learned that their inability to conceive was due to the husband’s infertility. This couple’s situation is not unusual. In 20-25 percent of cases, infertility can be attributed exclusively to male factor problems, and an additional 10 percent of couples have male infertility in addition to other factors.

The first step in evaluating whether male infertility is a factor is a detailed health history. Once adequate sexual performance has been confirmed, the next step is a semen analysis. This test measures several characteristics of a man’s sperm, including the number of sperm (volume and concentration), the shape of the sperm (morphology), and the ability of sperm to move (motility). If the results of the semen analysis are abnormal, the test is repeated in three to four weeks. If the second test is abnormal, a man will be referred to a urologist for further evaluation.

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Prostate Cancer Education Center Offers Comprehensive Information

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital June 4, 2013

Patient education is an important tool in the fight against prostate cancer.

With about one man in six being diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, there’s a great need for patient education. This is why Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) has developed the Prostate Cancer Education Center at  — providing comprehensive information on prostate cancer, including:

Prostate cancer is the second most common and deadly cancer among American men, with nearly 29,000 dying from the disease each year. However, the five-year survival rate for men diagnosed with prostate cancer has increased from 67 percent to 99 percent in only the past 20 years.

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Multivitamins May Reduce Risk of Cancer, Not Heart Disease

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital December 27, 2012

One of these may reduce your risk of cancer - but not heart disease.

Recently, we published the results from the first large-scale clinical trial to evaluate the long-term effects of multivitamins for men. When it comes to cancer researchers found that taking a daily multivitamin modestly but significantly reduced the risk of developing cancer and possibly reduced cancer-related deaths among men over 50; however, they also found that multivitamins did not appear to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in the same group of men.

“The findings from our large clinical trial do not support the use of a common daily multivitamin supplement for the sole purpose of preventing cardiovascular disease in men,” said Dr. Howard D. Sesso, lead author and an associate epidemiologist in the Division of Preventive Medicine at BWH. “The decision to take a daily multivitamin should be made in consultation with one’s doctor and consideration given to an individual’s nutritional status and other potential effects of multivitamins, including our previously reported modest but significant reduction in cancer risk.”

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Prostate Cancer Screening – A Guide for Men

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital September 19, 2012

Troy Brown

Patriots Hall of Famer Troy Brown gets a free PSA screening at the Brigham and Women's/Mass General Health Care Center.

Prostate cancer is the second most common and deadly cancer among
American men. About 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime, and about 1 in 33 men will die from the disease.

The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening test is an important tool for helping to diagnose, monitor, and guide the treatment of this disease. Since the introduction of PSA screening more than 20 years ago, along with the advent of more aggressive treatment, there has been a dramatic increase in the survival rate of U.S. men diagnosed with prostate cancer. This includes, according to a recent study, a significant move toward resolving the disparity between prostate cancer survival rates in African-American men and Caucasian men.

Opinions on when a PSA screening should be performed, or whether it should be performed at all, vary widely among health care professionals. Brigham and Women’s Hospital continues to advocate the selective use of PSA. We believe that, overall, the benefits of PSA screening greatly outweigh the risks, particularly for young and/or healthy men at high risk and when prostate cancer specialists – oncologists and urologists – are interpreting the results to effectively limit unnecessary treatment.

Below is some important information for men who are considering PSA screening.

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