June is Men’s Health Month
June 29, 2021
The Men’s Health Network created Men’s Health Month in 1994 to spread awareness of men’s health issues. During June, the organization encourages everyone to highlight preventable ailments that affect men both mentally and physically.
The primary diseases that Men’s Health Month aims to highlight are heart disease, cancer, and mental health issues that affect men at a higher rate. The following conditions are preventable and treatable if caught early. It is important to do self-exams, screenings, and regular doctor visits to stay ahead of them.
According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for most ethnicities for men in the United States. Not only is this disease deadly, but it can often be “silent.” Meaning, the first symptoms are a significant heart episode like a heart attack. Men are at greater risk for this disease if they are overweight or obese, eat an unhealthy diet, have diabetes, don’t exercise, smoke, and drink alcohol to excess. Some of these risk factors can be minimized with healthy lifestyle changes. It is best to eat well, exercise, quit smoking, and have your blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly by your provider.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, and it is the most common for American men, as reported by the Mayo Clinic. The good news is that this cancer is very treatable when caught early as it usually grows slowly and rarely spreads. The best way for men to prevent this is to maintain a healthy lifestyle with a vegetable and fruit-rich diet and regular exercise. Additionally, if you have risk factors for prostate cancer like family history or are over 50 years old, it is best to discuss your risk with a doctor. Use the provider search tool to find an in-network provider.
While prostate cancer is the most common cancer for men over age 50, testicular cancer is most common in men between ages 20 and 35, as stated by the Cleveland Clinic. This type of cancer is also very treatable if it is caught early, with a cure rate of 98%. While there is no way to prevent testicular cancer, regular self-examinations are the best way to ensure early detection.
Men’s mental health awareness and treatment is an important topic because of stigma and the negative perception by society surrounding acknowledging seeking care for these conditions. According to Mental Health America, men experiencing mental illness are far less likely than women to seek help. The reasons men do not seek help include social norms, reluctance to share feelings, and the expectation to downplay symptoms. This leads to men being more at risk for suicide and accounting for 75% of all suicides in the U.S. If you or a loved one need mental health resources, consider finding a mental health provider on our search tool.
It is vital to destigmatize and prioritize men’s health. Share this article with the men in your life, and consider using the hashtag #MensHealthMonth to spread awareness.