June is Men’s Health Month!
Preventive screenings and regular exams help reduce the impact of health conditions affecting men.
When it comes to medical care, there is something about men and doctors that do not seem to mix. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men are 80 percent less likely to visit a medical provider for preventive care than women. In recognition of Men’s Health Month, Faith Community Health System is shining a spotlight on men’s health issues and the importance of preventive care.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 12.4 percent of men 18 years and older are in fair or poor health. The CDC also reports that an estimated 34.5 percent of men 20 years and older are considered obese, and 32.6 percent have high blood pressure.
Focusing on a few core areas such as common cancers, regular health screenings, and nutrition could make the difference in the prevention and early detection of several common health conditions that affect men.
Fortunately, many health threats, like prostate and testicular cancer, can be treated when detected early.
Cancers that affect men
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) reports that prostate cancer is the most common male-specific cancer in the U.S., and it accounts for an estimated 9.9 percent of all new cancer cases in the country.
Prostate cancer is most common among men ages 55 to 74. According to the NCI, it is more likely to occur in men with a family history of prostate cancer and among men of African American descent.
Testing for prostate cancer can be performed through various screenings, including prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and digital rectal exams.
It is estimated that more than 3.1 million men in the United States are now living with cancer of the prostate, with 174,650 new cases expected in 2019 and 31,620 deaths this year as a result. According to the NCI, more than 251,000 men in the United States are living with this type of cancer.
Testicular cancer is another condition that often occurs among men ages 20 through 54. According to the NCI, more than 251,000 men in the United States are living with this type of cancer
Fortunately, this type of cancer can typically be detected at an early stage through frequent self-examinations for unusual lumps or swelling in the testicles, or if men experience aching in the testicles.
Wellness exams are key to early detection and prevention
Regular health exams and screenings are an important way to detect men’s health issues. Early screenings not only help men save money in the long run but can also save a life when a disease is caught early.
Screening for common cancers among men is often overlooked if men do not see a physician regularly. Men should be screened regularly for high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, diabetes, and other conditions.
Meeting regularly with a physician and reading about health issues that affect men are important ways that you can take control of your health and stay well.
Locally, Faith Community Rural Health Clinics provide convenient access to preventative care, including various men’s health screenings. Many services, such as annual wellness exams are covered by Medicare and most private insurance plans.