Talking to your dad about his health can be easier said than done. So expressing your concerns about health issues that generally target his demographic can be one way to open up the conversation.
Does he often use numbers to analyse a situation? If so, you could use stats to discuss a particular topic. Or does he have strong empathetic traits? In this case, he may connect with the subject more if you associate the health concern with a person he knows.
While there’s no need to tell your dad what to do, a gentle nudge in the right direction doesn’t hurt. To help gear you up for this crucial conversation with dad, here are three important health issues he should be on the lookout for.
1. Prostate Cancer
In the UK, about one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives — although it mainly affects men over 50. The average age for people with prostate cancer is between 65 – 69 — so the risk increases as you get older.
Therefore, your dad needs to be mindful of any symptoms of prostate cancer, such as frequent urination or blood in the urine. These symptoms could also be signs of a urinary infection, but it’s best to get it checked out asap to treat the problem.
No one knows how to prevent prostate cancer, though the latest research suggests being overweight can increase the risk. You can’t change your age, ethnicity or family history, but you can take control of your diet and weight.
Academy Award winner Robert De Niro was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2003 at age 60. Fortunately, “the condition was detected at an early stage because of regular checkups, a result of his proactive personal healthcare program,” his publicist said in a statement.
2. Urinary Incontinence
Urine leakage happens to one in four men, making it a common occurrence — but a stressful condition if unmanaged. The actor Samuel L. Jackson developed a loss of bladder control in his late 40s, and he admitted he was initially embarrassed. However, he was later quoted saying “I realised that this was a problem that millions of people deal with every day.”
Urinary leakage can be brought on by medical conditions, such as an enlarged prostate, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease. It can be common after some types of prostate surgery, too. Urinary leakage may also develop for reasons we don’t completely understand, like an overactive bladder (OAB).
To get him the right treatment, your dad’s doctor will need to find the cause of his problem. In the meantime, if he’s worried about having an accident or thinking of avoiding social or physical activities, there are plenty of helpful incontinence pads for men to help keep him dry and comfortable. View the Bayliss Mobility range here.
3. Bowel Cancer
Bowel cancer is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in the UK and affects around 1 in 20 people. Almost 9 out of 10 people with bowel cancer are over the age of 60, so your dad to check for any of the following symptoms:
- A persistent change in their bowel habit that causes them to go to the toilet more, either with loser stools, blood or abdominal pain.
- Haemorrhoid symptoms, such as soreness, discomfort, itching or pain.
- Abdominal pain, discomfort, or bloating that is always provoked by eating, sometimes resulting in a reduction in the amount of food consumed and weight loss.
If your dad is age 55 – 60, he’ll be automatically invited to take a bowel scope screening test. After the age of 60, he can do a home testing kit every two years.
There is a multitude of possible health scenarios you could discuss with your dad. But the idea is to open the conversation, so your dad is aware and on the lookout for anything that feels different. If he feels happy and comfortable talking to you about this now, then you’re both equipped for anything that comes your way.
Disclosure: This commissioned post was produced in association with Bayliss Mobility.