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Men's Health - Take a Proactive Approach

Men's Health - Take a Proactive Approach

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Men are frequently diagnosed with illnesses and diseases that could have been treated if they had been addressed sooner. During Men’s Health Week (June 11-17) we’re bringing awareness to men’s health issues and encouraging men in our community to be proactive about their health, make appointments for annual screenings, and get the latest information on men’s health so they can take great care of themselves.

To get involved and help spread the word, join Wear BLUE Day on Friday, June 15. Wear blue in support of your brother, dad, boyfriend, spouse, or another loved one and show your support on social media using the hashtag #ShowUsYourBlue. Our goal is to encourage men to be proactive about their health, regardless of their age, and to get screened for common health conditions.

What is Men’s Health Week?

Each year, Men’s Health Week is celebrated during the week leading up to Father’s Day to educate men to take care of their health. Created by Congress in 1994, the week helps to create awareness of health problems that are preventable if detected and treated early.

Get Checked Out Early and Often

No matter the disease, the sooner you get screened and start receiving treatment the better it will be for your overall health. Compared to women, men are more likely to smoke, drink, and put off regular checkups. Health conditions such as prostate cancer and low testosterone are issues only men face. Many men are at high risk for severe diseases like colon cancer and heart disease. These conditions, while serious, are much easier to treat when found early.

It’s Always a Good Time to Be Proactive

Younger men may think there’s no reason to worry about their health. They may feel they’re in the prime of their lives and nothing can slow them down. Meanwhile, older men might feel there’s no point in getting healthier now, or that it’s too late to make meaningful changes. Both of these philosophies are wrong. It’s never too late or too early to be proactive about your health. Regardless of your age, frequent checkups should be a high priority.

There are some checkups, like getting your blood pressure checked, that all men should have on a yearly basis. There are, however, certain checkups and screenings that some men should prioritize over others depending on age.

Men in Their 20s and 30s

If you’re a man in your 20s or 30s, you should get a physical exam every three years. Blood tests and urinalysis, which screen for illnesses and diseases like diabetes and kidney dysfunction before any symptoms occur, should also be done every three years. A TB skin test is recommended every five years, although more frequent testing may be required depending on your profession.

A rectal exam, which screens for hemorrhoids, lower rectal problems, and colon and prostate cancer, should be a priority on a yearly basis. Self-examinations of the skin for lumps and changing moles and the mouth for cancerous lesions should occur monthly. Men in their 30s should receive an EKG test, which tests the electrical activity of your heart for any problems.

Men in Their 40s

As a man in your 40s, you should begin getting a physical exam every two years. Discuss getting a chest x-ray with your physician, especially if you’re a smoker over the age of 45. A testosterone screening may be required if you’re suffering from low testosterone symptoms. A hemoccult screening, which screens for the first indications of polyps or colon cancer, should be done once a year.

Men in Their 50s and 60s

If you’re a man in your 50s or 60s, getting a yearly physical exam should be a priority. Colorectal health screenings, which screen for colon cancer at its earliest and most treatable stages, should be done every three to four years. Men in their 60s should discuss bone mineral density tests with their physicians to test their bone health.

A complete list of checkup and screening guidelines for men are available here.

Take the Initiative—Prioritize Your Health

We only get one body, and we can’t take it for granted. Let the men in your life know how much they mean to you by encouraging them to take control of their health or show your love for someone else by getting screened and making your health a priority.