Helping Men Live Longer, Healthier Lives
Men in the United States die an average of five years earlier than women, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Many health issues men face are treatable when detected early. June is Men’s Health Month, a time to raise awareness about preventable health problems and encourage the important men in your life to live healthier all year long.
Unfortunately, men and women alike delayed routine care over the past year due to concerns about COVID-19 exposure. The consequences could be deadly. The National Cancer Institute predicted that delated screenings could lead to an additional 10,000 deaths from breast and colorectal cancer alone over the next decade.
Get checked. For men, the top causes of death are heart disease and cancer. Fortunately, screenings are available to help manage the risk factors that lead to these conditions. These proactive measures could mean the difference between simply taking medication every day and being rushed to the emergency room for critical complications.
A primary care physician may recommend some of the following screenings based on patient history and risk factors.
- Cholesterol: Cholesterol can have serious consequences for heart health but managing it can be simple. A physician may measure levels at annual wellness exams, which are covered by most insurance plans.
- Colorectal cancer: When detected early, colon cancer is highly treatable and often curable. The American Cancer Society recently released new recommendations that colorectal cancer screenings now begin at age 45 instead of 50 for people at average risk of the disease.
- Prostate cancer: Like colon cancer, prostate cancer can be easily managed when identified early. PSA tests are one recommendation a physician may make depending on other factors.
- Keeping up with check-ups: Seeing a primary care physician every year is important. He or she may screen for high blood pressure, diabetes and other conditions and make sure immunizations are up-to-date.
Speak up. As important as men’s physical health is, their mental health needs attention too. More than 6 million men are affected by depression every year, but they seek mental health treatment less than women. Sadly, men are more than three times more likely to die by suicide.
Help is available. Asking for it takes courage and strength, and it is never a sign of weakness. Many confidential resources are available. Especially after the last year, many people feel depressed, anxious or just not like themselves. If you or someone you know feels this way, please contact a physician or mental health professional.
This June, help the men you care about live happier, healthier and longer lives by taking care of themselves and scheduling a check-up.