Across the United States each year, the month of June is recognized as National Men’s Health Month to heighten the awareness, early detection, and treatment of preventable health problems for men and boys. As we have covered in this space previously, men are less likely to have regularly scheduled visits with their primary care doctor and Men’s Health Month is an opportunity to encourage men and boys to reverse that trend. To start the conversation, below are five preventable health threats for men in the United States.
- Cardiovascular Disease – Globally, heart disease and stroke are the first and second leading cause of death for both men and women, and in the U.S., the rates are astronomical. One in five men will die from cardiovascular disease at an average age of 65. Men’s best defense is to catch it early through regular blood pressure checks and cholesterol screening, get regular exercise, and to quit smoking.
- Lung Cancer – This aggressive form of cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in men, and more than 90% of all lung cancer cases are caused by smoking. No matter what your age, THE most effective way to prevent lung cancer is to quit smoking! Men’s Health Month is a perfect excuse to visit your doctor and learn about the new tools and methods that are available to help you stop smoking.
- Prostate Cancer – Next to skin cancer, this male-only disease (Women don’t have prostates), is the most common form of cancer in men and will affect more than 200,000 in the U.S. this year. This disease is one that can be detected early through regular screenings, and while one in six men will develop this cancer, less than one in 35 will die from it.
- Diabetes – While not exclusive to men, Diabetes is trending as a men’s health issue at alarming rates. Known as a silent killer, Diabetes can eventually lead to heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, blindness, and circulatory issues leading to amputations. Studies are showing that boys born since 2000 have a one in three chance of developing diabetes in their lifetime. To fight back, men and boys must take regular exercise seriously, combined with healthier diets and controlling their body weight. Just 30 minutes of daily physical activity can reduce the potential of developing Type-II diabetes by 50%.
- Skin Cancer – Two-thirds of melanoma deaths are males, more than twice that of women. Caucasian men over the age of 50 comprise 60% of all melanoma deaths. Skin cancer is highly preventable with a few very simple lifestyle changes. The first is recognizing the dangers of leaving your skin unprotected outdoors. Using sunscreen, wearing hats with wide brims, shirts with long sleeves and pants can all lower your exposure to the harmful rays of sunshine.
There are activities planned throughout the month of June to raise awareness about issues that affect men’s health. You can also participate in National Men’s Health Week, June 12th to 18th, leading up to Father’s Day. Nationally, June 16th is “Wear Blue Day” to demonstrate concern for men and boys health issues. Check your employer's dress policy and get involved!
Lastly, be sure to stay close to Men’s Health activities throughout the month via social media. On Twitter, be on the lookout for #MensHealthMonth and #ShowUsYourBlue hashtags. Feel free to share your Men’s Health Month plans in the comment section below, or drop us a line on our Facebook page.