Movember: Moving the spotlight on men’s health issues

It’s “Movember,” when many men grow moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness about prostate cancer as well as testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. According to the American Cancer Society, one in nine men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. Estimates are that about 29,430 men died from the disease in 2018. So it’s imperative that men ages 45 and older speak with their primary care provider about getting a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test, a routine blood analysis that screens for prostate cancer and related conditions.

However, good health should be a year-round concern for men – not just in November. With all the attention on prostate health, it’s also important that men — and those who love and care about them — consider other health issues. They include topics that might be a bit delicate to discuss, namely low testosterone (low T), erectile dysfunction (ED) and fertility.

Men are often reluctant to discuss those issues, but it’s important to understand that addressing these sensitive issues may benefit other aspects of their health. For instance, erectile dysfunction may indicate a heart condition, and low T can be associated with depression.

That’s why men should make an appointment with their primary care provider for blood tests to check blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and other levels that can be related not only to urological conditions but also cardiac, endocrine and mental health. In addition, excessive weight is often related to degenerative arthritic changes in men as they age, especially in their hips and knees. Keeping a food and fitness diary is a smart way to visually track daily routines and make necessary adjustments.

Talk to your doctor. If you don’t have one, call 888-700-6543 or use the Find a Doctor feature on our website for a referral to a primary care physician near you.

Free Men’s Health Fair on Nov. 14

Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven and Yale Urology will host a special day of screening and education on Thursday, Nov. 14 in celebration of “Movember,” a month dedicated to men’s health. The event will be held from 5 - 7 pm at Yale New Haven Hospital, Yale Physicians Building, 800 Howard Avenue, 3rd Floor, New Haven. The fair will include:

  • Prostate cancer screening: includes a clinical exam of the prostate and a P.S.A. (prostate specific antigen) blood test. (To avoid waiting, register online for prostate screening, select Nov. 14 in the calendar and find your preferred time slot. You can also register by calling 888-700-6543. Walk-ins are also welcome.)
  • Blood pressure screening
  • Educational information on male sexuality and intimacy issues
  • Smoking cessation information

Additional free screenings will be held from 5-7 pm on Nov. 14 at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, Faire Harbor Building, 2nd Floor Suite 2-013, 365 Montauk Avenue, New London. Email for more information about any of the screenings.

Seven signs of diabetes

Did you know that diabetes kills more Americans than AIDS and breast cancer combined? Or that approximately 85,000 Connecticut residents don’t realize they have the disease? What else don’t you know about this potentially devastating disease?

Diabetes is a silent disorder with symptoms that develop slowly over time. Most people don’t know they have diabetes until they get their blood sugar levels checked. Here are seven signs that you should mention to your doctor:

  • You’re taking more bathroom breaks – especially at night.
  • You’re thirstier than normal.
  • You feel tired and sluggish.
  • You’re losing weight without trying.
  • Your vision seems blurry.
  • Your feet feel numb or tingly.
  • You keep getting urinary tract or yeast infections.

Many people have diabetes without showing any symptoms at all. People at risk for diabetes should see their doctor regularly for an evaluation. Risk factors include: being 40 years or older; having a family history of diabetes; being overweight and/or physically inactive; having high blood pressure; and having had gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Take this online quiz to see if you are at risk. 

If you have diabetes, consider meeting with a registered dietitian at YNHH to evaluate your eating habits and goals. A registered dietitian can provide personalized dietary advice that takes into account your health status and lifestyle, along with food likes and dislikes. A certified diabetes educator can offer diabetes self-management training, too. For information about nutrition services at Yale New Haven Hospital and Yale New Haven Shoreline Medical Center or to make an appointment, call 203-688-242.

Have a question about nutrition or healthy eating? Email the nutrition experts.

Looking for support? We can help

Everyone can use a little support now and then. Yale New Haven Hospital offers free support groups for patients and their caregivers or loved ones who are coping with illnesses and want to discuss their concerns. Meeting times and locations are subject to change, so call the numbers provided ahead of time to get the most current information.

Upcoming support groups include:

  • Cancer support groups: We offer many cancer support groups in collaboration with Yale Cancer Center, including the following: Brain, Breast, Gastrointestinal (GI), Gynecologic, Head and Neck, Laryngectomy, Lung, Melanoma, Multiple Myeloma, Neuroendocrine, Pancreatic, Prostate, Stem Cell Transplant, Thyroid and a group for Young Adults. Current patients, survivors and families are welcome.
  • Heart transplantation support group: A monthly meeting for individuals considering, preparing for, and recovering from heart transplant surgery.
  • Stroke support group: A support group for stroke survivors and their caregivers is held every month at the YNHH Saint Raphael Campus. Registration is required. Call the YNHH Stroke Center at 203-737-1057 for details.
  • Bariatric/weight-loss surgery support group: A free bariatric patient support group meets monthly and welcomes individuals considering, preparing for, and working to stay on track after weight-loss surgery. Contact the group coordinator at 203-785-6060 for details.
  • Amputee support group: A free, monthly support group for amputees, their caregivers, family and friends meets in the YNHH Rehabilitation and Wellness Center at the Bridgeport Hospital Milford Campus. Email for details.
  • Bereavement support groups: Yale New Haven Hospital provides bereavement services and support to families and friends after the loss of a loved one. Grief is a natural response to loss and learning more about grief will help with healing. For information on the bereavement support group schedule, call 203-415-8940.

Smilow hosts lung cancer symposium

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Lung cancer is the second-most common cancer among both men and women in the United States. This year, the American Cancer Society estimates about 221,200 new cases, and about 158,040 deaths from lung cancer.

Lung cancer usually develops and spreads for years without causing symptoms, making it difficult to detect at an early stage. Symptoms include: 

  • Persistent cough that does not go away
  • Onset of hoarseness or wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up blood
  • Recurring bronchitis or pneumonia
  • Weight loss or loss of appetite
  • Chest pain

On Nov. 14, Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center will host a symposium on “The Promise of Personalized Medicine for Lung Cancer.” The event will be held from 5-7:30 pm at Smilow Cancer Hospital Auditorium, 55 Park St., New Haven. Speakers will discuss screening and early detection, coping and supportive care, and clinical trials and research at Smilow. To register or for more information, call 203-785-2425. 

The YNHH Auxiliary wants you

The Yale New Haven Hospital Auxiliary is a diverse, dedicated and dynamic group of women and men who devote their free time to developing initiatives that help support the hospital’s mission. As a member, you can be as active as your schedule allows. You can join auxiliary committees, such as those that support fundraising or patient-facing programs; enjoy social activities; or participate in philanthropic endeavors such as the Toy Closet. You might also consider the Looking Forward Program that supports integrative medicine activities at Smilow Cancer Hospital, or the scholarship program for high school seniors pursuing healthcare-related careers.

New members are always welcome and contributions of time, talent or resources are appreciated. Call 203-688-5717 or find out more about becoming a member today.

Referrals for physicians and surgeons

YNHH provides free information about and referrals to more than 2,600 affiliated physicians 24 hours a day. Call 888-700-6543 or visit our Find a Doctor feature on the hospital website for information on physician specialties, office hours and locations as well as insurance plans accepted. YNHH physicians represent more than 70 medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties, including internal medicine/family practice, obstetrics/gynecology, orthopedics, pediatrics and psychiatry. 

Free blood pressure screenings

More than half of all Americans over 60 have high blood pressure — and many more are at risk of developing it, according to statistics from the American Heart Association. YNHH offers free blood pressure screenings at many community sites. Call 203-789-3275 for a list of locations and times or for more information.

Need blood work? We’re in your neighborhood

When your physician orders blood work or you need to schedule a blood test, Yale New Haven Health makes it easy with blood draw stations conveniently located in your community. No appointment is necessary and all major insurance plans are accepted.

Please note: A requisition form is required. Our blood draw stations honor requisitions from other labs.

Find a location that's convenient on this list of blood draw locations on our website.

What would you like to know?

Want to learn more about a particular health topic or service? Questions about classes and events at YNHH? We want to hear from you! Tell us what you like about Advancing Care or send suggestions for improvement or changes. Email and let us know how we can better serve your health needs.

YNHHS patients:  Do you have MyChart?

MyChart gives Yale New Haven Health System patients secure, online, 24/7 access to portions of your electronic medical record (EMR). There you can see your medical history, most laboratory and test results, appointment information, medications, allergies, immunizations and other health information. You can schedule appointments with your doctor, request or renew prescriptions, see your billing and insurance information and send and receive secure, confidential electronic messages with your doctor’s office. Sign up by using the activation code on the after-visit summary from your doctor, request a MyChart Activation Code at your next appointment or visit the MyChart website and click “New User?”

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Make a lasting impact at YNHH

Help support the mission of Yale New Haven Hospital with a donation! Your contributions support vital programs, services and facilities within the hospital and help keep Yale New Haven at the forefront of innovative treatment. When you make a gift to YNHH, you are part of the advanced medicine and compassionate commitment that touch so many lives in our community.

Billing questions?

Yale New Haven Hospital offers financial counseling to patients and families. Spanish-speaking counselors are available. Additionally, evening sessions are scheduled once a month — the next two are Monday, Nov. 18 and Monday, Dec. 16 from 5 - 7 pm. To make an appointment with a financial counselor, call 203-688-2046.