By Kristin Seyfried Cathcart
“Wow. Your cancer is in Uranus.”
A few months ago, I was at a block party, where I heard these words said to my best friend’s husband, who I will refer to as Panda. I want you to say the words out loud. It sounds different than it reads, doesn’t it? What was the reference? Astrological? Medical?
In this case, both things are true. Panda has prostate cancer, and Uranus is, in fact, in the sign of Cancer on his astrological chart.
November is Men’s Health Month. I am a widow of seven years now. My husband beat Squamous Cell Carcinoma in 2007 only to have a new primary in his lung occur in March 2014. We lost him to lung cancer in June 2014.
Men have health issues that are complex and present very differently than they do in women. Below I have listed the top health issues that men face today. This list is not in any specific order, but the symptoms of each do present in unique ways.
- Heart Disease – Symptoms in men include chest pain, tightness, discomfort, shortness of breath, pain, weakness, and coldness in extremities and neck, jaw, and throat. It can present as flu or asthma.
- Cancers – Common cancers are lung, prostate, colorectal, and skin.
- Lung Cancer: coughing, cold and flu-like symptoms, can present as a bad cold, flu, walking pneumonia, etc.
- Prostate Cancer: Burning or pain when urinating, trouble starting or stopping, sudden erectile dysfunction, and blood in urine/semen. It can present as a bladder infection.
- Colorectal Cancer: change in bowel habits, blood in stool, feeling that your bowels aren’t emptying completely, weakness/fatigue. Can preset as a stomach virus
- Skin Cancers: moles that change, lesions with irregular borders and are painful, itch or burn, brownish spots with darker speckles. It can present as insect bites, blisters, etc.
- Stroke – Sudden numbness or weakness in face or limbs, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, difficulty speaking or understanding. It can present as dehydration, exhaustion.
- Diabetes – The symptoms are essentially the same in men and women; however, the list for men can also include ED, Low Testosterone, and decreased sex drive. It can present as a male change of life, exhaustion, depression, or anxiety.
- Mental Health – Depression and anxiety in men can display the same as in women; however, we can add the following symptoms to this list, anger, aggression, restlessness, anxiety, ED, low libido, risky behavior, increased need for alcohol/ drugs, physical aches, and pains. In addition to this, suicidal triggers can also include significant life changes (single, retirement, unemployment, etc.)
I am writing this on my ninth wedding anniversary. I write this in memory of my husband, who lost his battle with cancer. We owe it to the men in our lives to be aware and advocate for their health. But, men, hear this! You need to do your part too! Please speak up and communicate with the people in your lives when something isn’t right or is different. Even if you think it’s nothing, let’s get it checked out and put that question to rest.
If you are nervous or apprehensive, let the people in your life know so you can have someone with you.
We owe it to the men in our lives to be aware and watchful for symptoms of some of the most common health conditions as they can be symptoms of something more serious. Every single one of those conditions can present as something else. Many have similar or the same symptoms, and many times, diagnosis requires traditional thinking and a collaborative approach with medical professionals. By playing an active part in each other’s care through education, discussion and awareness, when those symptoms present differently, we can step in and step up to help keep each other healthy. And by getting those early diagnoses, we give each other a fighting chance at a longer, healthier life.
Kristin Seyfried Cathcart is a Partner Support Manager at Telarus. She resides in New York and is known by her friends and coworkers to be a bit of a technology geek. She is currently turning her home into a smart home! In addition, she is a newly certified Reiki I practitioner and an active musician, artist and cat lover who enjoys spending her time with family and friends.