Raising awareness about men’s health

Men’s health has become a well-researched and discussed area of concern, especially in June when National Men’s Health Week is celebrated. To achieve the best quality of life, men can take several steps to improve their health. It is important to be on the cutting edge of health care and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Office visits often include but are not limited to, physical exams, instruction, various tests, and vaccination administration. Fortunately, recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that 64% of men reported seeing a doctor in the past six months. Annual exams and regular preventive exams are important preventive health functions of general practitioners. Also, seeing the same doctor regularly can help you establish the communication channel necessary to optimize health outcomes. Men’s health conditions include prostate cancer, colon cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

More than 230,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. It is estimated that approximately one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in his life. To help detect prostate cancer early, the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that men discuss the risks and benefits of screening with their doctor. After this discussion, men interested in screening will take the blood test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA). A digital rectal exam (DRE) may also be done as part of the exam.

In the United States, 147,950 adults are diagnosed with colon cancer each year. More than half of these diagnoses affect men. If colon cancer is found early, it can often be cured. Family physicians will refer patients for a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is a routine preventive procedure that an examiner can use to evaluate the inside of the colon. These are recommended at the age of 50 with people with no family history and every 10 years thereafter. If a first-degree relative has colon cancer, a colonoscopy is recommended before age 45 and/or five years before colon cancer is diagnosed.

Another critical threat to men’s cardiovascular health is coronary artery disease (CAD) or “hardening of the arteries” in the heart. Coronary heart disease is common to all ethnic groups and diabetes. To reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, men are encouraged to have routine tests and procedures to maintain a normal weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.

In addition to the topics above, other important health check-ups for men include regular eye exams after age 40 and osteoporosis screenings if risk factors are present between age 50 and 70. Regular vaccinations are recommended. This includes an annual flu shot, tetanus and diphtheria booster every 10 years, and a series of shingles or shingles once after age 50.

In general, men’s health can be considered a marathon, not a sprint. Choosing a healthy lifestyle to maintain our health includes many things like managing stress, limiting alcohol consumption, avoiding tobacco products, and being physically active. Daily lifestyle choices can affect health in both the short and long term. 

Paradigm wants to remind you not to wait until something is seriously wrong before seeking medical help. It is important to understand health risks and take steps to reduce them.