There are so many months devoted to breast cancer awareness, ovarian cancer awareness and other women’s diseases that it is a welcome addition to have a month devoted to men’s health. The purpose of Men’s Health Awareness Month is twofold. The first goal is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems. The second is to encourage both men and boys to pursue both early detection and, ultimately, the treatment of diseases.
By setting aside this month as an awareness month, health care providers, the media, and policy makers have an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek medical advice and early treatment for disease as well as injuries.
The two diseases that are the top killers for men are skin cancer and prostate cancer. African American men have the greatest risk of developing prostate cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends prostate cancer screenings should begin at age 50. But, if there is a risk of developing this cancer then screening should begin at an earlier age.
In addition to these two diseases, there is a crisis in men’s health that affects every community across America. The crisis revolves around the management of chronic medical diseases such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, heart disease and high cholesterol. All of these are causing men to die early, and all of these can be caused by low testosterone levels!
Men’s Health Month is celebrated across the USA with screenings, health fairs, media appearances, and other health education and outreach activities. One of their main objectives is to give men goals for better health. They include:
- Getting a good sleep. Adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep. Many diseases are associated with insufficient sleep. These include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. Also, poor sleep is responsible for motor vehicle and machinery-related accidents.
- Quit smoking. Besides improving your general health, by quitting smoking, you lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, lung disease and other smoke-related illnesses.
- Get moving. Two days a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and muscle strengthening routines that work the major muscle groups is imperative. Don’t do it all at once; divide your activities into smaller amounts of time during the day.
- Watch what you eat. To eat healthy your diet needs to include a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Cut out or greatly limit foods and drinks that are high in calories, sugar, salt, fat and alcohol.
- Tame stress. If you feel overwhelmed or out of control, seek support. You need to take care of yourself, stay active and stay socially connected.
- Medical checkups are essential. These can identify issues before they become major problems. Also, get vaccinated. There is no age limit to needing immunizations.
Make this June the month that you will pay attention to men’s health.