June is Men’s Health Month

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Health Plan of San Joaquin celebrates National Men’s Health Month in June! The aim of Men’s Health Month is for men to know that they need to get their health exams and screenings, and to stay healthy while living longer. The month also coincides with Men’s Health Week (June 12–18), a special awareness period created by Congress, and the #ShowUsYourBlue campaign on Friday, June 15th where men and women are encouraged to wear blue to work to show their support for the health and well-being of men boys and men.

“There is a silent health crisis in America…it’s the fact that, on average, American men live sicker and die younger than American women,” says Dr. David Gremillion of the Men’s Health Network.

The facts:

  • Almost twice as many men as women die of heart disease
  • Most men die five years sooner than women
  • Women are 100% more likely to visit the doctor each year (CDC, 2001)

Cancers: Many can be stopped or controlled with early detection
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that more than 300,000 men in the U.S. die from cancer each year. During the course of a lifetime half of all men will get cancer at least once. The sad part is that most cancers can be stopped.

“As a nurse, I recently had phone conversations with two young men. One was 22 and the other was 23. Both of them are dying from testicular cancer. Both of these young men knew something was wrong, but never said anything until it was too late.

If you know young men, especially from puberty on, encourage them to do self-checks of their testicles. As embarrassing as that conversation may be, it will be better than having a conversation with other family members at that young man’s funeral. Make sure that the young men in your life see their medical provider regularly for physical exams. Testicular cancer is highly curable. Don’t let your loved ones die from this cancer that can be treated with great success.”

HPSJ Nurse Stephen Sterner
The American Cancer Society (ACS) says that prostate cancer is the most common cancer for men in the U.S. followed by colon (the organ that helps move food through the digestive tract), lung and skin cancer.

Some men are at a higher risk for cancers based on their race:

  • Bladder cancer for Caucasian men
  • Cancer of the mouth and throat for African-American men
  • Kidney cancer for American Indian/Alaska Native and Hispanic men
  • Stomach cancer for Asian/Pacific Island men

The ACS has tips on how men can take control of their health and cut their risk of getting cancer. Routine exams and tests are vital. A life of eating fruits and veggies, holding a healthy weight, not smoking, curbing alcohol intake and not being exposed to a lot of sunlight are a few things to guard against cancer.

Eyes: Windows to Men’s Health
An eye exam is also vital to men’s health. Did you know that having high blood sugar can change your eyes? If you have high blood sugar, you can keep your eyes healthy with these tips:

  1. Keep your blood sugar levels under control
  2. Keep high blood pressure under control
  3. Quit smoking
  4. Talk to your doctor about seeing an eye care doctor once a year
  5. See your eye care doctor if:
    1. your vision becomes blurry
    2. you have trouble reading signs or books
    3. you see double in one or both of your eyes
    4. your eyes get red and stay that way
    5. you feel pressure in your eye
    6. you see spots or floaters
    7. straight lines do not look straight
    8. you can no longer see things from the side (peripheral vision)

So what are you waiting for? – Take control of your Health!
Men should not drag their feet about going to the doctor. It is vital to stay on top of your health game by getting yearly exams. If you are not sure what tests you need, visit our Men’s Health webpage at https://hpsj4.wpengine.com/mens-health/

© Health Plan of San Joaquin, June 2018

Posted on June 10th, 2018 and last modified on June 11th, 2018.