Brazilian Natural Medicine

care and prevention should be done at all stages of life — Português (Brasil)

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In the month of awareness about early diagnosis of prostate cancer, the Ministry of Health warns that men’s health as a whole deserves attention. Despite the increase in life expectancy between 2000 and 2018, men still live 7.1 years less than women. According to information from the Primary Health Care Secretariat, 34% of Brazilian men aged between 20 and 59 years are not registered in Primary Health Care (PHC) services, making less use of these services and performing fewer preventive and of health promotion compared to women.

Among the non-communicable chronic diseases that most affect the male population are cardiovascular diseases. In 2018, men had a higher risk of death from these diseases than women, in addition to chronic respiratory diseases, with 40% and 50% more risk, respectively. According to data from the Surveillance of Risk and Protective Factors for Chronic Diseases by Telephone Survey (VIGITEL), these risks may be aggravated among men who make harmful use of alcohol, have an unhealthy diet and lifestyle, with high blood pressure and/or high body mass index.

Prevention

To provide more quality of life to the male population, the first step is prevention. The adoption of healthy habits, the practice of regular physical activity, a balanced diet and the moderate use of alcoholic beverages are crucial to reduce these preventable injuries. In addition, preventive health monitoring is essential.

A survey by the Reference Center for Men’s Health in São Paulo showed that 70% of men seek medical care because their family members demand it. In addition, more than half of these patients postpone going to the doctor and arrive with advanced-stage diseases.

Prevention based on routine medical follow-up and early identification of diseases increase the chances of effective treatment. For this, some tests must be part of the male routine:

  • Check blood pressure frequently;

  • Keep track of cholesterol rates;

  • Get tested for sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, hepatitis B (HBsAg) and hepatitis C (anti-HCV).

Men who show signs of prostate problems, such as difficulty urinating, a weak urinary stream or a feeling of incomplete bladder emptying, should go to the nearest health service for investigation. It is possible that other illnesses, such as a urinary tract infection, are causing the symptoms.

However, these symptoms can also be related to prostate cancer. In Brazil, this is the second most common type of cancer among men, behind only non-melanoma skin cancer. Overall, it is the sixth most common type in the world and the main one among men, representing about 10% of all cancers.

For those with a family history, consultation and medical follow-up is recommended, as only he can advise on the risks and benefits of performing tests.

Men’s Health

In order to expand the demand for health services among men, the National Policy for Comprehensive Attention to Men’s Health (PNAISH) was regulated in 2021. The objective is to promote the improvement of the health conditions of the Brazilian male population, effectively contributing to the reduction of morbidity and mortality in this population by addressing risk factors and vulnerabilities.

PNAISH is developed based on five thematic axes:

  • Access and reception;

  • Sexual health and reproductive health;

  • Fatherhood and care;

  • Diseases prevalent in the male population;

  • Prevention of violence and accidents.

The Ministry of Health reinforces that health care should be carried out at all stages of a man’s life.

Fran Martins
Ministry of Health



Official content – Fact Check – Verified

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