The theme for the month of June in the American Nurses Association (ANA) Year of the Healthy Nurse campaign is “Men’s Health, Cancer Awareness, and Skin Health.” The ANA is bundling these three health topics to raise awareness of how each relates to men. These are important issues for both men and women, but overall, men are less likely to act proactively about their health.
ANA recently conducted a survey of nurses to gain insight into how they behave towards their own personal health. The results showed that 60% of female nurses have annual mammograms and half routinely have cervical cancer screening. On the male nurse side, most responded that they do not get prostate exams and 25% have no routine cancer screenings of any type. The survey also included questions related to skin cancer protection where nearly half of all nurse respondents, male and female, do not wear sunscreen most of the time when going outside.
As part of the June content to promote Cancer Awareness, ANA members can access a free webinar on June 21st titled “Can the Pressures of Everyday Life Influence Your Risk of Cancer?” Additional Cancer Awareness webinars are available throughout the month for a nominal fee. The American Cancer Society reports that 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women in the U.S. will develop cancer during their lifetimes and that less than 10% of all cancers are strongly linked to genetic factors. That means that the risk of developing most cancers can be reduced by lifestyle. For example, avoiding tobacco, limiting alcohol use, covering up when in the sun, being active, and eating healthier.
To raise awareness and provide educational content about Men’s Health issues, ANA is partnering with Men’s Health Network, a national non-profit organization that promotes awareness and disease prevention messages and other important programs and material specifically to men and boys. Last summer, we published ‘6 Reasons Men Avoid the Doctor’ and considering this month’s “healthy nurse” theme, it might we worth your time to revisit the article and also share it with members of your family who might be interested.
We know how busy you are, but we also want you to take care of yourself in addition to the patients that you are serving on a daily basis. The Year of the Healthy Nurse monthly themes are a perfect reminder for you to do just that. Take a few minutes and learn more about the factors that increase your risk of cancer. Now that the weather is nicer and you are spending your days off outside in the garden take the time to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun. And for our male nurses, schedule that visit to the doctor and have an annual physical. If a prostate exam is in your future, keep the appointment and have it done. Your family will thank you.
We want you to join the conversation. Please include your thoughts on this article in the comment section below, or join us on our Facebook page.