Five health symptoms men shouldn't ignore

4 min read

Men are paying the price for neglecting their health.

On average, men go to their doctor half as often as women. It's important to be aware of changes to your health, and to see your doctor immediately if you notice something's not right.

Below are five important health issues for men and the symptoms you should never ignore.

A lump on your testicle

Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men aged 20 to 35.

If you notice a lump or abnormality in your testicles, first see your doctor. Most testicular lumps are not cancer, but it is essential to have any abnormalities checked. This is because treatment for testicular cancer is much more effective if the cancer is diagnosed early.

  • Find out what your testicles should look and feel like.
  • Early diagnosis meant that footballer Neil Harris beat testicular cancer and soon returned to play for Millwall FC.
  • Watch a video on testicular cancer.
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    testicular cancer
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  • Find out more in
    testicular lumps and swellings


Check your moles regularly and be aware of any change in colour or shape, or if they start bleeding. Most changes are harmless and are due to a non-cancerous increase of pigment cells in the skin.

See your doctor if a mole looks unusual or becomes itchy. It can then be checked and removed if necessary.

To minimise your risk of skin cancer, avoid exposure to the sun between 11am and 3pm. Cover up and use sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15 when you're in the sun.

  • Could you have a cancerous mole and not know it? Use our mole assessment to find out.
  • Read more information about

Feeling depressed

If you're depressed, you may lose interest in things you used to enjoy. If you've been having feelings of extreme sadness, contact your doctor.

Depression is a real illness with real effects on your work, social and family life. Treatment usually involves a combination of self help, talking therapies and drugs.

Depression is more common in women, but suicide rates are higher among men. This may be because men are more reluctant to seek help.

  • Get tips on coping with stress, anxiety and depression .
  • Learn more about
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  • Read about living with depression.

Trouble urinating

When the prostate is enlarged, it can press on the tube that carries urine from the bladder. This can make it hard to pass urine, which can be a sign of prostate disease, including cancer.

Other symptoms include pain or burning when you pass urine and frequently waking up in the night to pee. If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor.

  • Every man has a prostate gland and it's crucial to your sex life. Get to know your prostate and what can go wrong with it.
  • Watch a video on prostate cancer.
  • Read about
    prostate cancer
    , including the symptoms and how it is treated.


Most men have problems getting or keeping an erection (impotence) at some point. See your doctor if your erection problems last for several weeks.

Generally, lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and exercise, can correct the problem. Some men may need medication such as sildenafil (also known as Viagra).

Your doctor is likely to assess your general health because impotence, also known as erectile dysfunction, can be a sign of more serious conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure.

  • Half of all men over 40 have had trouble getting an erection at least once. Read about the causes of impotence and where to get help.
  • Find out more about

Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.