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. The response has been overwhelming with thousands of awareness activities in the USA and around the globe.
National Men’s Health Week is celebrated the week leading up to Father’s Day, which is June 15-21, 2015. During this week, individuals, families, communities, and others work to promote healthy living among men and boys. Our parents spend so much of their time taking care of us, it’s easy to forget that they need to take care of themselves. June is men’s health month and along with the hugs and cards and special dinners to celebrate Father’s Day, be sure to remind Dad that the best way to care for his family is to take care of himself too.
Once we get over the age of 40, our prostates grow — it’s known as “benign prostate enlargement.” The common symptoms include slow urinary stream or a sudden urge to go to the bathroom. An enlarged prostate has been linked to a number of metabolic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Testosterone is the main male hormone, and is responsible for a number of things, including reproductive development as a male. It’s made in the testes, and impacts a number of functions. The most common symptoms of low testosterone are a decreased sex drive, erectile difficulty, tiredness, mood changes and occasional memory problems. If you have low testosterone, you’re at increased risk of developing diabetes, hypertension or a number of other chronic conditions.
The leading causes of death among men ages 18 and over are heart disease and cancer. Additionally, diseases like prostate cancer, testicular cancer, hypertension, and obesity affect large portions of the male population. Though many of these diseases are not entirely preventable, making certain behavioral changes can go a long way in prevention and improved health overall. In particular, we hope to inspire conversation and spur action that promotes healthy behaviors.
The impact of prostate and testicular cancer on lives is substantial, with prostate cancer being the second most common cancer in men worldwide and the number of cases expected to almost double to 1.7 million cases by 2030. The state of men’s health is in a crisis. Simply put, men are dying too young. Gender is one of the strongest and most consistent predictors of health and life expectancy. For men, this is not good news. On average, across the world, men die 6 years earlier than women.
Each of us has different needs and concerns, but making an appointment and starting the conversation with a healthcare professional is the first step. While it may be daunting or even embarrassing to ask about these screenings, in most cases early detection can go a long way towards preventing a more serious situation. Our main focus for this month is to promote taking action and making changes that last. In modeling this behavior, we not only benefit ourselves but we encourage you to start the conversation and make changes in your own health behaviors. We will all benefit.