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Quick Quiz: Men’s Health Myth or Fact?

Can you identify men's health myth from fact? Put your knowledge to the test!

Questions
1. Urinary incontinence (UI) is a normal part of getting older. Myth or fact?
2. Men can have breast cancer. Myth or fact?
3. No pain, no gain. Myth or fact?

Answers
1. Myth. While it's true that UI is more common in older adults, it's not an inevitable part of aging. UI is often caused by a treatable medical problem, such as an enlarged prostate.

"By age 60, half of men will have some signs of enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)," said Lourdes Medical Associates family physician Matthew Pinto, DO. "Treatment may include lifestyle changes, medication or surgery."

There are three main types of chronic urinary incontinence: stress, urge and overflow. Each has its own cause. Treatment for urinary incontinence is as easy as using the bathroom at regular intervals or limiting fluids at certain times. Other treatments include pelvic exercises, medicines and surgery. Talk with your physician if you experience UI.

2. Fact. Although women are much more likely to have breast cancer, men can develop it, too. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 2,100 men develop breast cancer each year, and 450 will die from it. Breast cancer is most common in men between the ages of 60 and 70.

"Breast cancer is commonly thought of as a women's disease," said Dr. Pinto. "However, men's breasts are actually similar to women's and men can get the same types of cancer. The most common type is ductal carcinoma, which begins in the milk ducts."

Other risk factors include:

  • Family history of breast cancer
  • Exposure to estrogen, such as from drugs used in hormone therapy for prostate cancer
  • Klinefelter's syndrome, a genetic mutation that occurs when a boy is born with more than one copy of the X chromosome. Klinefelter's causes abnormal development of the testicles, and men produce lover levels of certain male hormones and more estrogen.
  • Radiation exposure, such as for treatment of a cancer in the chest
  • Liver disease
  • Heavy drinking
  • Obesity

Possible signs of breast cancer include breast lumps or nipple discharge. See your physician if you notice these signs, said Dr. Pinto.

3. Myth. You don't need to feel pain to have a good workout. In fact, pushing yourself too hard during exercise can lead to injury, including sprains and fractures. Start any new exercise slowly and gradually build intensity. According to Dr. Pinto, stop exercising right away if you have:

  • Pain or pressure in your chest, neck, jaw, arm or shoulder
  • Joint pain
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Trouble seeing or talking
  • Muscle cramps

Last reviewed: April 2013

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