A Spotlight on Men’s Health for Men’s Health Month
Guys, June is all about you. It’s Men’s Health Month!
The goal of Men’s Health Month is to shed light on preventable health problems and encourage the early detection and treatment of disease and injury.
Health awareness groups all over the country hold screenings, fairs, media appearances, and other educational outreach activities in recognition of Men’s Health Month. Find out how you can spread awareness!
In many offices, the Friday before Father’s Day is “Wear BLUE day” to observe Men’s Health Month. Plan your office’s wear blue day! #ShowUsYourBlue
Men’s Health Month gives healthcare providers like us the opportunity to encourage men to put their health first, since many don’t.
Really guys, knowing the facts, being proactive, and taking advantage of the many health resources available to you can make all the difference in your quality (and length) of life.
Make Your Health a Priority
As a part of an educational campaign for men’s health called “MENtion It”, The Cleveland Clinic surveyed 500+ American men between the ages of 18-70 on their use of healthcare resources.
The survey found that:
- Only 3 out of 5 men get annual physicals.
- Over 40% of men only go to the doctor when they think they have a serious medical condition.
- More than half of men said their health wasn’t something they talk about. Work, sports, current events–yes. But almost never their health (7% of men to be exact discuss their health with others).
- 19% admitted they only go to the doctor to get their loved ones “off their back”.
Some Serious Stats
Most American men aren’t taking care of themselves and it’s starting to show.
The following statistics about American men’s health should open your eyes to how important it is to take proactive and preventive measures to live a long and healthy life.
- At birth, males outnumber females 105:100 but by age 65-74 the male-to-female ratio is 80:100. Generally, men live sicker and shorter lives than American women.
- 450,000 men die of cardiovascular disease each year.
- More than 700,000 men are diagnosed with a type of cancer each year and 300,000 of those cases will result in death.
- 230,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year and 30,000 men will die of it. It is the second leading cancer cause of death in men.
- More than 60% of adult American men are overweight or obese.
Top Leading Causes Of Death in the United States
While we’re on the topic of serious statistics, take a look at the top causes of death in American Men:
- Heart disease
- Chronic lower respiratory disease (CLRD)
- Accidents/unintentional injuries
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Influenza and pneumonia
- Kidney disease
It should be noted that with the proper preventative measures, a large number of these deaths could have been avoided.
Steps to Kick-Start a Healthy Lifestyle
Our intention isn’t to scare you, only to get you to see how important it is to take care of yourself. Men’s health is a silent crisis in America. For American men, their health simply isn’t a priority.
Take these steps to kick-start your healthy lifestyle–you’re sure to start feeling good rather quickly.
- Protect yourself from the sun with hats, clothing, and SPF sunscreen.
- Drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
- Limit alcohol consumption to two drinks per day.
- Exercise moderately for 30 minutes, five times a week or vigorously for 20 minutes, three times a week.
- Limit cholesterol intake and avoid saturated fats.
- Quit smoking.
- Eat the required daily amount of fruits and veggies.
- Do monthly self-exams.
- Schedule regular screenings, tests, and check-ups with your doctors. (See below)
Regular Screenings = A Early Diagnosis
One big issue is that many men don’t know when to begin certain health screenings and how often to be re-screened.
Your doctor can help you decide on a preventative screening timeline that’s right for you. Keep in mind, if you have a family history or symptoms associated with a condition–screenings should be more frequent.
Here are some general screening guidelines to follow:
- An EKG scans for heart abnormalities. Men between the ages of 20-39 should be screened on an as-needed basis, men ages 40-49 should be screened every four years, and men ages 50+ should be screened every three years.
- Blood tests and urinalysis screen for cholesterol levels, diabetes, and kidney or thyroid dysfunction. These test can detect issues before symptoms occur. Men between the ages of 20-39 should be screened every 3 years, every two years for men 40-49, and men ages 50+ should be screened every year.
- Men should have their blood pressure tested at least once a year. High blood pressure can cause damage to all organs.
- Rectal exams screen for hemorrhoids, lower rectal problems, colon, and prostate cancer. Rectal exams should be performed every year once a man reaches the age of 20.
- A bone mineral density test measures bone health. Once a man reaches the age of 60, he should talk to his doctor about having a bone density test completed.
- A physical gives an overall health status report. Men ages 20-39 should have a physical at least every three years, men ages 40-49 should have one every two years, and men 50+ should have a physical every year.
- A hemoccult screens stool for early signs of polyps or colon cancer. Men over the age of 40 should be screened every year.
- Chest x-rays can detect lung cancer and should be considered by men over the age of 45 who smoke.
- Sexually active adults should be screened for STDs regularly, but especially if they feel they might be at risk.
- Colorectal health exams check the rectum, sigmoid, and descending colon for early signs of cancer. Only men over the age of 50 should be screened every three to four years.
- Testosterone screening checks for low testosterone. Men ages 40+ should talk to their doctor about whether a testosterone screening is necessary.
- PSA blood tests measure levels of Prostate Specific Antigen for infection, enlargement, or cancers. Men ages 50+ should be tested every year.
In honor of Men’s Health Month, take a step or two towards improving your health. Drink the recommended amount of water each day or plan to go for a walk each night after work.
The medical staff at Urology Specialists of the Carolinas always promotes men’s health awareness. Learn more about our highly experienced medical professionals and consider booking an appointment at one of our many Charlotte area locations.