Are they aware of their heath? If not, you may need to point them in the right direction. June 10 – June 16 is Men’s Health Week, conveniently ending on Father's Day.
There are many different concerns when it comes to health. It is important to be aware and active in making yourself as healthy as you can.
So, for our first topic, let’s talk about prostate cancer. Prostate cancer only affects men—they are the only ones with a prostate gland—and is the second leading cancer killer of men.
If prostate cancer is detected early, it can be treated.
Men who are 40 should start to talk with their health care provider about prostate screening.
If you have a family history of prostate cancer, then you should start annual screening at age 45. If you do not have a family history, then annual screening can start at age 50.
There is not a straightforward answer on how to prevent prostate cancer, but there are ways to reduce your risk:
• Eat a healthy, low-fat diet
• Eat plenty of fruits/vegetables/whole grains
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Stay physically active
• Don’t use tobacco
• Get regular checkups
Heart disease is another major health concern for men, although it also affects women. It is the most common cause of death for men in the United states. To have good cardiovascular health, a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle are key.
As you age you are not only at risk for heart disease, but diabetes and high blood pressure. The diet changes in the list above are small steps that can reduce your risk for all of these conditions.
Sexual and reproductive health is also a topic that men need to be aware of and take action with. There can be many issues in regard to this topic, such as, sexually transmitted diseases and testicular cancer.
Testicular cancer mainly affects young men who are between the ages 20 and 39. It is important to perform monthly self-exams to feel for a lump and to report any abnormal changes to your physician.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) are spread by sexual contact and the more partners you have, the greater risk you have of contracting them. STDs are on the rise—Morgantown currently is experiencing a syphilis outbreak, mostly among men who have sex with other men—and it is important to stay protected. Wearing a condom is a way to prevent STDs, as is limiting your partners.
If you are having sex, it is important to talk to your doctor to set up an appointment to get screened. There is free and confidential STD testing and treatment at MCHD Clinical Services. To set up an appointment, call 304-598-5119.
This link provides a checklist for checkups and screenings. It serves as a reminder for when, how often, and at what age to start getting these things done.
We all need a little help sometimes when it comes to doctor’s appointments, screenings/exams and even just general health. Remind the men in your life during this week for Men’s Health Week.