Diseases Of Women That Affects Men Too
There are certain diseases which are reported more frequently in women as compared to men. It may sometimes create this false illusion that these diseases have a sex predominance which is not true. One major drawback of this approach is a fair misconception that these diseases does not occur in the opposite gender.
Below is a review and short description of six such conditions that are perceived as female-only issues; but unfortunately these issues are also common in males.
This is an eating disorder in which the affected individuals have an extreme fear of gaining weight or a distorted perception of their body weight. This forces them to adopt such extreme measures as severe restriction of food (and/or calorie) intake to control their weight. Needless to say that this disorder can negative impact their day-to-day activities as well as relationships.
Although it is nine times more common in women than men, the later may get affected by this disorder but with different motivational factors. For example, this disorder is more frequently seen in the male athletes who want to maintain their sports performance; or in men who suffer from orthorexia, a condition in which the sufferer avoids only such foods that are harmful to health.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. It is 100 times more common in females than males. Still, it affects a lot of males as well each year. Some of the risk factors that may make you more likely to develop breast malignancy are the same in both males and females for example; increasing age, positive family history, obesity, and alcoholism. But some factors are unique to men like testicular disorders, liver disease and Klinefelter’s syndrome (having an extra X chromosome).
In terms of prognosis, affected men have a higher tumor grade, more chances of lymph node metastasis and an overall worse survival rate than most women.
Osteoporosis or reduced bone density is a much more common condition in women. But the number of affected men is also on the rise. Both men and women may present with persistent bone pains, high propensity to develop bone fractures with trivialtrauma and loss of mobility, if the condition is left untreated. Age group may be different among the two sexes. Women get it in their fifth decade (or after menopause). Men are more likely to get this condition in their sixth and seventh decade.
Female menopause is a known entity. Male menopause, on the other hand, is a term used to describe a condition in which elderly men suffers a significant decline in their testosterone levels (which less aggressive decline in the estrogen). Consequently, the overall effects are; gynecomastia, osteoporosis, sexual ailments and erectile dysfunction. These symptoms can be managed via conservative approach (such as strength training, lifestyle changes, exercise and diet) or testosterone replacement therapy.
HPV or Human Papilloma Virus is usually contracted through sexual contact and is much more common in women (and a known risk factor for cervical cancer development). In men, it is linked with other HPV- associated cancers such as malignancies of throat and anal region. These findings have led to the medical recommendation that boys should be offered HPV vaccination too.
Lupus is an autoimmune condition in which body’s own immune mechanism starts to attack its tissues and organs. This disease is 90 times more common in females. Majority of affected men, however remain undiagnosed owing to the low index of suspicion on the part of the medical practitioners.
- Ruddy, K. J., & Winer, E. P. (2013). Male breast cancer: risk factors, biology, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. Annals of Oncology, 24(6), 1434-1443.
- Schwartz, L. M., Castle, P. E., Follansbee, S., Borgonovo, S., Fetterman, B., Tokugawa, D., … & Darragh, T. M. (2013). Risk factors for anal HPV infection and anal precancer in HIV-infected men who have sex with men. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 208(11), 1768-1775.
- Szulc, P., Kaufman, J. M., & Orwoll, E. S. (2012). Osteoporosis in men. Journal of osteoporosis, 2012.
- Sofimajidpour, H., Teimoori, T., & Gharibi, F. (2015). The Effect of Testosterone on Men With Andropause. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 17(12).