While women account for 80 percent of osteoporosis cases, men can get this bone disease too, especially when they’re over the age of 50. “By the age of 65, men and women have the same rate of bone loss and the same risk of breaks or fractures. Women might get it earlier because of those sharp drops in estrogen at menopause, but men catch up later,” says Jamin Brahmbhatt, MD, a urologic surgeon and co-director of the PUR Clinic at South Lake Hospital in Clermont, Florida. Your doctor can perform bone density testing to see if you’re at risk, but maintaining good calcium and vitamin D levels (both through diet and supplements) may help keep bones stronger longer. These are the silent signs of osteoporosis.
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Despite men having a 1 in 1,000 chance of developing breast cancer (compared to a woman’s chance of 1 in 8), male breast cancer is a real risk and still needs to be caught early for the best possible prognosis. That means it’s critical to call your doctor if you notice any changes to your breast, such as a painless lump (usually under or near the nipple) and inverted, scaly, or bleeding nipples. (These are other signs of breast cancer you should never ignore.) “Men are less likely to bring breast changes to the attention of their physician, which is why they’re more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage,” says Lisa Sclafani, MD, a surgical oncologist specializing in breast cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. “It’s important to discuss any changes with your doctor when you first notice them.”