June is Men’s Health Month: What you should know

Posted 6/10/24

Men’s Health Month is a time to raise awareness and educate men, boys and their loved ones about their health...

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June is Men’s Health Month: What you should know


Observed in the same month that we celebrate the father figures in our lives, Men’s Health Month is a time to raise awareness and educate men, boys and their loved ones about their health, preventative methods, and conditions of concern, empowering them to take charge by making healthy choices and decisions.

It is estimated that about 60 percent of men receive annual routine check-ups with a physician, with the remaining 40 percent only going to the doctor if something is seriously wrong.

Unfortunately, for many health conditions, waiting until symptoms are critical could be too late. The overall mortality rate for men is 41 percent higher than for women, with the leading causes of death being heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes-related conditions. To get on a healthy path to better wellness, boys and men can take steps to care for their physical, mental, and social health.

The first step is to schedule an appointment and establish yourself as a patient with a primary care provider. A primary care provider acts as your personal physician, reviewing your medical and family history, performing yearly-to-quarterly checkups depending on your health status, and initiating medical tests to establish a baseline for your health. This is also an opportunity to discuss any health concerns or potential symptoms. Additionally, your primary doctor may advise on potential health screenings, including:

Recommended Male Health Screenings for all ages
• Annual Physical Exam: check vital signs like blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing; observe appearance, ears, nose, throat, and more for potential warning signs; perform testicular, hernia, and prostate examinations.

• Laboratory Testing: blood and urine tests to check body functionality, lipid profiles, blood sugar tests, and others based on personal and family history.

• Immunizations: Updating potential vaccinations for flu, COVID, Hepatitis A/B, HPV (human papillomavirus), MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), and Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis).

• STI Screenings: If sexually active, routine screening for chlamydia, gonorrhea, Hepatitis B/C, HIV, and syphilis.

• Risk Screenings: Based on lifestyle, a physician may recommend additional screenings for users of alcohol, recreational drugs, steroids, and tobacco.

• Family Planning: This includes both preventive conception and pre-conception counseling.

Additional Recommended male health screenings ages 40 – 64
• Cancer Screening: Depending on family history and lifestyle, this can include colon, lung, prostate, and skin cancers. A man is almost three times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer if his father, brother, or son has been diagnosed.

• Cardiovascular Risk Screening: Assessment and tests to maintain heart health and prevent severe cardiovascular conditions and events through early detection.

• Annual Eye Exam

Additional recommended male health screenings, over age 65
• Thyroid Screening

• Osteoporosis Screening: Particularly for men over 70 who are losing height over time or have been diagnosed with a low-impact fracture. A fall risk assessment is typically included.

Like seeing a primary care provider, men are less likely to seek mental health support than women. However, men are more likely to die from substance abuse (including drug overdoses and alcohol-related illnesses) and suicide. About 31 percent of men will suffer from depression during their lifetime, and for men who have chronic conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, depression can worsen their health outcomes.

There is no shame in asking for help. If you do not feel comfortable speaking with family or friends, talk to your doctor about a referral to a mental health provider.

One of the main reasons men avoid seeking a medical professional is fear of diagnosis. While men should see a primary care provider at least once a year, making better lifestyle choices can also help improve health outcomes, such as:

A Healthy, Balanced Diet. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a MyPlate widget to help you determine the foods you should eat based on age, activity level, height, and weight.

Get Active. Even if you take a 10-minute walk three times a week, a little activity is better than none.

Quit Smoking. As soon as you quit smoking, you immediately improve your health and reduce your risks of cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and other illnesses. You can find help locally through Tobacco Free Hendry County and Tobacco Free Glades County.

Limit or Stop Drinking Alcohol. Heavy to moderate alcohol consumption can increase your risk of certain chronic conditions.

Manage Stress. Reducing your stress, or how you respond to stress, can help lower your risk for critical conditions such as heart disease and depression.

About Healthy Humans Hendry-Glades
Healthy Humans Hendry-Glades provides resources and tips to help residents care for their physical, financial, mental, emotional, spiritual and social health. Supported by the Healthier Hendry Glades Task Force, a collaboration of partners that promote healthier lifestyles in Hendry and Glades counties, it provides tools for everyone to become a Healthy Human. For information, visit healthierhendryglades.org.

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