Men’s Health MonthMelanie Tawil
This one is for the dudes – the men in our lives. June is all about the men that we love and care about; it’s also Men Health Month. Celebrate what makes you amazingly you. Since 1994, sponsored by a congressional health education program, Men’s Health Month is celebrated across the United States with health fairs, screenings, and other health education/outreach activities.
Why Men’s Health Month? Despite the amazing medical advances, men still have a 7-year average shorter lifespan than women do. Prostate cancer has grown to an alarming rate of 1 in 9 (in 2015), with many men reluctant to visit their health care provider for regular exams. They may have related problems for many reasons, including, but not limited to: fear, lack of information, and cost factors.
So what do we do? Well, if you’re a female reading this – encourage the men in your life (family and friends) to schedule and actually go to their check up. If you’re a male: put this magazine down. Pick up your phone. Dial your physician’s phone number. Schedule the check up; physically put your appointment in whatever scheduling device you use. Actually go to your appointment. This will be different from other age appropriate exams. If you’re between the ages of 20-39 you can schedule your exam every 3 years, 40-49 every 2 years, and over 50
head to the doctor every year. But every year you should get your blood pressure checked. Hypertension is a serious issue amongst men as heart disease is the leading cause of death. There are no physical signs of hypertension and at the same time can cause permanent damage to body organs.
What else should you get every year? Well, a rectal exam, PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) blood test, and hem-occult screening (screens the stool for microscopic amounts of blood that can be the first signs of polyps or colon cancer).
Prostate Cancer is this drastic — it’s the second leading cause of cancer death for males only behind lung cancer. We are also seeing a rise in melanoma (skin cancer) diagnosis, killing twice as many men as women. Take a journal with you, jot down questions or symptoms you have been feeling. If you have gone to H-E-B to take your blood pressure, jot that information down and share it with your physician.
This is your month, gentlemen — stay healthy. If you do end up going to the doctor after reading this article, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.