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Men's Health and the Role of Community Nurses
Gender variations in the occurrence of some diseases have been present for many years. Scientists and healthcare providers have made significant efforts to improve the understanding of these differences, such as male-specific cancer types (Mosca, Barrett-Connor, & Wenger, 2011). Some of men’s health conditions include erectile dysfunction, or testicular and prostate cancer (Lundy & James, 2009). This essay seeks to discuss the most common health problems in males and the role of community health nurses in their prevention and the promotion of health.
Prostate and testicular cancer types are some of the major health problems peculiar to the male gender. The second one mainly affects young adults since 80% of patients are below the age of 45 years at the time of being diagnosed with this condition (Tal, Stember, Logmanieh, Narus, & Mulhall, 2014). Although its occurrence is low among men accounting for around 1% of all types of cancer affecting this gender, their prevalence has increased for the past two decades (Incrocci, 2013). This rise is a major threat to the health of men and the failure to curb it may be a huge issue in the future.
On the other hand, prostate cancer is a huge challenge to males because it occurs more frequently than testicular cancer. The National Cancer Institute (2016) explains that out of 2009-2013 age-adjusted prostate cancer cases and deaths, the number of new occurrences is 129.4 per 100,000 men every year, out of which 20.7 die annually. This figure is huge given that it occurs in men only (Lundy & James, 2009). Furthermore, its rate will likely increase because of a rise in the aging population. The prevalence of prostate cancer is the highest among African Americans and Caucasian Americans (Haas, Delongchamps, Brawley, Wang, & de la Roza, 2008). The prevalence of this disease has increased mainly because of precise diagnosis (Incrocci, 2013). Therefore, prostate cancer is a severe male health issue that requires intervention.
Another male health problem is erectile dysfunction that mostly occurs because of prostate or testicular cancer or its treatment. Its prevalence is 52%, and at the age of 40 years, it is approximately 40%, which shows that its occurrence increases with age by about 70% for men aged 70 years and 5-15% for persons from 40 to 70 years (Lakin & Wood, 2012). Men with the cancer of the bladder, rectum, testis, penis, and the prostate have a high risk of erectile dysfunction (Schover et al., 2014). The surgical and chemotherapeutic management of these conditions also increases the occurrence of this problem.
Community health nurses play a critical role in the prevention of these diseases and the promotion of health. According to Kulbok, Thatcher, Park, and Meszaros (2012), they disseminate essential information through health education that helps males to understand their actions towards reaching better health outcomes through the practice of healthy behavior. For instance, community health nurses educate the masses on factors leading to cancer and ways how to prevent them. They conduct screening in the community and healthcare facilities to promote health through an early disease diagnosis and treatment (Kemppainen, Tossavainen, & Turunen, 2013). Therefore, the role of community health nurses is to prevent diseases by offering health education on adopting healthy behavior to reduce disease risks and by screening and diagnosing male diseases early enough before initiating appropriate treatment.
In conclusion, erectile dysfunction, and prostate and testicular cancer are some of the male-specific conditions. They do not only impair the health of those affected, but also result in the loss of life among males. Community health nurses help in the prevention of these diseases by delivering health information to the public to reduce risks by adopting healthy behavior. Furthermore, they provide screening services to the community for an early diagnosis and treatment of these male-specific conditions.
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