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. This month gives health care providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury. You can learn more at www.menshealthmonth.org.
It may be “macho” to ignore pain or depression, but it isn’t healthy. The truth is that women are 33 percent more likely than men to visit a doctor regularly. And, according to the Men’s Health Network, men die at higher rates than women when it comes to the top 10 causes of death – heart disease, cancer, stroke, COPD, accidents, pneumonia/influenza, diabetes, suicide, kidney disease and chronic liver disease.
In 1920, women outlived men by only one year. According to the CDC, women today are outliving men by 5.1 years. The stakes are simply too high for men to continue to “tough it out” when it comes to their health. Having a relationship with a health care provider and monitoring a man’s health as he ages is critical for the early detection of significant health issues.
Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in both men and women. Heart disease tends to manifest itself at an earlier age in men than in women. One in four men has some form of heart disease. Men can take charge of their risk by making healthier lifestyle choices. Prevention goes a long way in reducing the risk of stroke, cancers, diabetes and depression.
Depression & Suicide
A much ignored health issue for men is depression. U.S. men are four times more likely to commit suicide compared to women. Part of the blame can be attributed to undiagnosed and treated depression. Depression in men may look different from what is seen in women. It may manifest itself through: anger, aggression, risk-taking behavior, job burn-out, midlife crisis, and alcohol or substance abuse.
Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death in men and women. Smoking is responsible for 90 percent of lung cancer cases. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, followed by colorectal cancer. To learn more about recommended screenings for these cancers, please visit the American Cancer Society website at www.cancer.org. Screening saves many lives.
Men – it is up to you to take charge of your health. Do it for yourself – do it for the ones you love.