June 14-20 leading up to Father’s Day
“The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.” Using the very words of the Men’s Health Network (MHN) non-profit based out of DC is the best introduction to the number of initiatives and activities designed over the years by care providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals for this very special goal.
A growing number of surveys —and a general public opinion consensus— speak of how significant physical, mental and sexual health has become for men in this century, with a whooping 90% positive and actionable response in the latest poll. Slowly, the goal is to make up for a matter that has been significantly lagging behind the concern and resources devoted to women’s health, including as a focus of the medical professionals.
Specific interest and problem areas include accidents, testicular cancer, prostate cancer and overall heart health.
As we should all be well aware by now, heart disease is the number 1 male killer in the US across all ages. However, accidents, or unintentional injury, as it is often termed in the professional medical and official literature, are the leading cause of death for males under the age of 45, with special prevalence in the 18-24 years of age bracket. Much needed attention is currently warranted to address this leading cause of death, which in most cases is easily prevented. The most prominent unintentional injury categories for men include falls (fall fatality rates in men are 49% higher than in women), residential fires, and impaired driving, i.e., alcohol-related crashes, driving while distracted, and driving tired.
This type of cancer also impacts younger men, especially aged 20-54. Common signs are lumps and masses, swelling, and pain in the area. Overall cancer prevention recommended by the American Cancer Society is extensive, but the two most notable courses of action should always feature self-detection and regular screenings.
Common symptoms here include urination difficulties or the need to urinate frequently, especially at night, interrupting your sleep. Also, pain or burning sensation while urinating or ejaculating. This type of cancer is not preventable, but early detection has proved to work wonders, so do not hesitate to consult with your health professional. Recommended especially for symptomatic men aged 55-69 or for any male wishing to get screened.
The best advice to keep your heart health in check is to be well aware and documented of your genetic predisposition via your family medical history. Diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure readings should be addressed immediately. Then, other preventive measures that males can help minimize the impact of heart disease include:
- analyze eating habits and incorporate a healthy diet ASAP
- quit smoking
- regular exercise
- drink in moderation
For a number of specifically-tailored activities geared at improving men’s health during this awareness month or at any time during the year, you can start here.