Men's health

The importance of health for everyone cannot be stressed enough. This page will look at issues for older men but will be pertinent for men of any age. Along with health topics that feature throughout the Age Concern website, for example nutrition, hearing, vision, exercise and coping with loss, change and depression, we will endeavour to cover subjects such as balding, erection difficulties, and enlarged prostate.

Men's Health Week

In June each year International Men's Health Week is held. Men's Health Week is a chance for New Zealand men to make a difference to their health for themselves and their families.
Why have an International Men's Health Week?

  • Male life expectancy is unnecessarily low.
  • Reported male-specific diseases are increasing (especially prostate and testicular cancers).
  • Men have higher risk of suicide and yet male depression remains under-diagnosed and under-treated.
  • Health services have been slow to respond to men's health needs and little has been done to encourage and enable men to access services faster and more efficiently.

For more information on International Men's Health Week go to:

Stop men dying too young

Movember Foundation is a charity tackling prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.


Thinning hair or loss of hair can happen to both men and women. The most common cause of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia (male pattern balding) which is thinning of the hair. This is caused by male hormones (known as androgens) in people who have inherited a genetic tendency towards balding.

The following are links to articles about Baldness:

Erection difficulties

Erection difficulties (or erectile dysfunction or impotence) is the inability to achieve satisfactory erections. It is a common problem with the majority of men having medical reasons which prevent satisfactory erections. It is a condition that affects both older and younger men. Medications can also have an effect causing impotence.
The following are links to articles about Erection Difficulties:

Male menopause

Male menopause is a term used to describe a drop in male hormone levels after middle age. Symptoms of testosterone deficiency include sexual dysfunction, fatigue and problems with mental functioning, depression and irritability.
The following are links to articles about male menopause:

Prostate cancer

The prostate gland is about the size of a walnut and located below the bladder. It surrounds the top part of the urethra which takes urine from the bladder to the penis. The prostate produces most of the fluid that makes up a man's semen.

Prostate cancer is a malignant tumour of the prostate gland. The cancer can be contained within the prostate and may not show any symptoms, or it can spread through the lymphatic system to other parts of the body. The lymphatic system is part of the body's defence against infection and connects the major lymph glands such as those found in the abdomen, pelvis, groin, neck and armpits.

The following are links to articles about Prostate Cancer:

The Ministry of Health has launched a new site to help inform Kiwi men about prostate cancer checks and to reduce the inequities in accessing checks. The Kupe site includes a short online questionnaire to help men or their family to decide whether they should see a GP or NP about a prostate check

Testicular cancer

Some facts on testicular cancer:

  • Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 35 years - but it can strike any male at any time.
  • Testicular cancer is almost always curable if it is found early.
  • Most testicular cancers are found by men themselves, either as a painless lump, a hardening or change in size of the testicle, or pain in the testicle.
  • Children born with an undescended testicle have an increased risk of getting testicular cancer regardless of whether surgery is done to correct the problem. However, the surgery for an undescended testicle should still be done to preserve fertility.
  • Testicular cancer can be treated with surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surveillance, or a combination of these treatments.

The following are links to articles about Testicular Cancer:

Websites of interest:

  • Men's Health Information Resource Centre is an Australian website which designs, develops and supports research and projects which contribute to the enhancement of the health and well-being of men and boys in a variety of contexts.
  • Mens Health Forum UK is a British website looking at a variety of issues for men. It appears to be medically orientated but worth the time to look at and search for a topic of interest.
  • The Ponsonby Medical Centre has a wealth of information on various topics for all. Click on the link on the right side of the page under Men's Issues for a run down of the topics available in this section.

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