Posted on Nov 25, 2015 by Travis Jones
You may have noticed that there are more bearded and mustached men walking around lately. If you have been living under a rock for the past several years, you may have no idea why this is, but those of us in the know are aware of the real reason for facial hair season. The ‘Movember’ movement that has men hiding away their razors for a month is ultimately all about raising awareness for men’s health issues. In light of this, and In the spirit of helping out our bearded brethren in Singapore, Pacific Prime Singapore now presents you with information on the diseases that are leading to the most deaths among men in Singapore, as well as information on how best to make sure you or your loved ones avoid them.
Cancer is by far the #1 killer of men in Singapore, representing 29.4% of deaths among all people in 2014. As it happens, the main focus of Movember since its inception has been raising awareness and funds for cancer research; Testicular cancer more specifically.
With regards to this specific type of cancer, men in Singapore should be aware that incidences of it are on the rise, as well as that testicular cancer is the most common type of cancer in young men. Fortunately for them, however, testicular cancer is highly treatable, and survival rates are over 95% when it is detected at an early stage. Young men should take special care to be aware of and check for testicular cancer regularly, as the men most at risk of developing it are between the ages of 15-40.
Men between these ages should look out for the following symptoms of testicular cancer:
A dull ache in the groin or lower abdomen
Heaviness in the scrotum
A lump or swelling in one or both testicles
Of course, men over 40 are not suddenly off the hook because prostate cancer becomes their concern later in life, with those most at risk being aged 50+. This type of cancer may not be detectable in its early stages, so regular prostate exams are a good idea for all men over 50. Symptoms of advanced prostate cancer include bone pain and trouble urinating.
It should be noted that, while these male-specific cancers are dangerous, they are not even the most prevalent cancers in Singapore’s male population. Lung and colorectal cancers are both more common than prostate cancer, which is the 3rd most common type among men. For all types of cancer, a family history of having cancer is a major risk factor. If you have had occurrences of any type of cancer in your family, consult your doctor to discuss how regularly you should be receiving cancer screenings.
Being the 2nd leading cause of mortality in Singapore, pneumonia is not to be taken lightly, but is primarily deadly to the elderly. As the average lifespan for men has risen in Singapore in recent decades (now sitting at slightly over 80 years of age), so too has the percentage of deaths due to pneumonia. Pneumonia accounted for 19% of deaths among both men and women in 2014.
A major issue for diagnosing pneumonia in the elderly is that their immune systems do not function as well as those of younger people, so acute symptoms of pneumonia, including chest pain, fever, cough and increased mucous production, can be quite difficult to notice. Thus, a bout of pneumonia can lead to hospitalization for an extended period of time.
A vaccine can be administered to ward off the most common bacteria associated with pneumonia, so those who may be at risk should consider consulting their doctor about getting vaccinated and other steps they can take to avoid contracting the disease.
The #3 cause of death in Singapore in 2014 was ischaemic heart disease, and heart disease actually becomes the #2 cause when you include hypertensive and other cardiovascular diseases.
By and large, heart disease tends to be more of an issue for men than women, with heart attacks affecting men earlier in life and men being more at risk of contracting it. Many factors can contribute to a dramatic rise in risk for heart disease in both men and women, including hypertension (high blood pressure), smoking, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes and sedentary lifestyle. Whatever a person can do to avoid these risks betters the chance of having a long life without serious cardiovascular problems.
Not sure what cerebrovascular disease refers to? Primarily when we use this word we are talking about a stroke, although more broadly it refers to any condition that will disrupt blood and oxygen flow to the brain. Cerebrovascular disease accounted for 8.4% of deaths in Singapore in 2014, which is actually a lower percentage from previous years. Nevertheless, it is a serious condition that nobody, man or woman, is immune from.
Much like heart disease, smoking, high cholesterol, sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity are risk factors for stroke, in addition to having carotid or other artery disease. As most of these factors can be controlled, it is important for every man to take personal responsibility in preventing the likelihood of suffering a stroke. Additionally, a stroke is more common in men than in women, and age and genetics also play a role the probability.
The symptoms of stroke include:
Loss of balance, coordination or the ability to walk
Loss of vision
Numbness or weakness in the face or appendages, or on one side of the body
Confusion, memory loss or disorientation
Dizziness, nausea or vomiting
If any of these symptoms are felt, seek help and medical attention immediately.
There you have it: The deadliest diseases affecting men in Singapore today. It should be noted however, that there are many other dangerous ailments affecting many Singaporean men, including diabetes, obesity, lung disease and various infections. As you can see from the diseases listed, prevention is your best tool in stopping them, but the reality is that prevention only goes so far. Once one of these diseases strikes, making sure that you have access to high quality healthcare is of the utmost importance, as is making sure that the cost of treatment does not bankrupt you.
For this reason you would be well advised to ensure you have a comprehensive health insurance plan that includes coverage for all of the listed diseases. The helpful agents at Pacific Prime Singapore are always standing by to answer questions about a new or existing insurance policy, give advice, and provide you with plan comparisons and free price quotes. Contact us today to find out more!