WORDS HANNAH MAY-LEE WONG
Heart disease is the primary cause of sudden death among men in Malaysia. According to Dr Tee Chee Hian, sudden death can be caused by a variety of heart problems such as arrythmia (having an irregular heartbeat), congenital heart disease, or more commonly, coronary artery disease.
Know the signs and symptoms
Catching heart disease early may help prevent sudden death. Dr Tee says that men experiencing symptoms such as palpitations, fainting episodes, lethargy, shortness of breath on exertion, chest pain, postprandial angina (chest discomfort after meals), or reduced exercise tolerance should see their doctor immediately, as these may be signs of heart issues.
Men should also get screened regularly for the common risk factors of heart disease such as dyslipidaemia (abnormal cholesterol levels), hypertension, and diabetes.
Keep a heart-healthy lifestyle
Lifestyle changes that include quitting smoking, having a balanced diet with more vegetables and fruits, and doing exercises that promote cardiovascular fitness like running, jogging, and cycling can help lower the risk of heart disease.
Dato’ Dr Selvalingam Sothilingam notes that prostate cancer is the 3rd most common cancer in Malaysian men. It is often diagnosed in the late stages, due to the asymptomatic nature of the disease in its early stages.
“The most common age for diagnosis of prostate cancer is men in their 60’s and 70’s. However, we have also detected cancer cases in men as early as in their 50’s. Early diagnosis is key as it is potentially treatable if detected at an early stage,” Dr Selvalingam explains.
Men that have a family history of prostate and/or breast cancer should get screened for prostate cancer from the age of 45.
The right diet may lower risk of prostate cancer
Dr Selvalingam shares that frequent consumption of foods such as cooked tomatoes, soya products, green tea, vegetables, and fruits may lower a person’s risk of prostate cancer.
On the other hand, having a diet high in red meats and processed foods as well as low in fibre may increase the risk of prostate cancer.