The American Heart Association has published their top five reasons men put off seeing a doctor:
“I'd rather tough it out”
“There's probably nothing wrong”
“I don't have time”
“I don't want to spend the money”
“I've got probe-a-phobia”
Men have many health concerns unique to them such as enlarged prostate, prostate cancer, male infertility, erectile dysfunction, and low testosterone. In addition, men are at risk for many diseases that are not gender specific.
Cancer and heart disease are the top two causes of death among men in the US, but with early diagnosis, treatment is often very successful. Not only are some health concerns exclusive to men, sometimes health concerns have different symptoms for men than for women, such as stroke. Most importantly, some serious health concerns may come with no symptoms at all. For this reason, it is essential to have regular visits with a doctor.
During NOVEMBER, there is heightened Men’s health awareness. This led to the development of The Movember Foundation. This initiative increases awareness of men's health issues and encourages men to seek medical guidance and routine tests.
Men's reluctance to see a doctor may be the primary reason men have higher rates of some diseases and a lower life expectancy than women. Diana Sanchez, associate professor of psychology at Rutgers University says, “Men can expect to die five years earlier than women, and physiological differences don't explain that difference.”
The gap in health behaviours between men and women, including preventative screening and medical treatment, has contributed to a silent health crisis among men. Men’s health is a family issue. Take the first step toward bettering your health by finding a primary care provider today. Make these pledges to yourself :
- Help change these statistics and schedule your annual physical today.
- Know what’s normal and what’s not, and ask questions.
- Take action to reduce your risks and improve your health and WELLNESS!
The MOVEMBER Foundation suggests:
The Movember Foundation is a charity whose goal is to stop men from dying too young. Their main focus is on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health, and suicide prevention. This organisation provides specific suggestions for men:
1) Make man time - It’s important for men to have strong relationships and to spend time enriching those friendships.
2) Talk - Being there for a friend is important, but take time to talk to a friend yourself; it can be life-saving.
3) Know thyself - Perform regular self-testicular exams. Understand what is normal and what is not.
Don’t let the fear of COVID-19 keep your male loved ones from getting the check-ups and health care they need. In fact, it is even more vital now for men to get control over their health to help them fight off infections of all kinds. Annual screenings and tests are some of the most important things a man can do for his overall health because screenings find diseases early when they are easier to treat.
Cholesterol level test - High cholesterol could lead to heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Men need regular cholesterol testing at age 35, though those with a higher risk factor should begin testing at age 20.
Blood pressure screening - Men should have their systolic and diastolic pressure checked regularly to check for pre-hypertension or high blood pressure, which is a leading cause of stroke and heart issues from as early as 30’s.
Diabetes test - Starting at age 40, healthy men should begin diabetes screenings every three years using a fasting blood sugar test, glucose tolerance test or an HbAIC. Testing may begin earlier if you have a higher risk, including high cholesterol or blood pressure.
Prostate exam - The American Cancer Society suggests men begin discussions and tests at age 50 for the average-risk male, age 45 for high-risk men, and age 40 for African Americans and men with a family history of prostate cancer.
Colorectal exam - For many years, 50 has been the recommended age for a first colonoscopy; however, the American Cancer Society changed that recommendation to age 45 in May of 2018. Men have a slightly higher risk of developing colon or rectal cancer than women.
Glaucoma test - Eye tests for glaucoma are based on age and personal risk, but men under the age of 40 should be tested every two to four years. Men ages 40 to 64 should be tested every one to three years, while men over the age of 65 should be tested every six to 12 months.
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