Happy International Men’s Health Month! Established in 1992 by the Men’s Health Network, this worldwide awareness movement is observed each June to encourage men of all ages to adopt and practice healthy habits that can help protect their bodies, promote their good health and extend their lives.
At Fetter, we’re encouraging men to join in on this month’s celebration by learning more about their health, their potential risk factors and by taking an active role in their health care process.
When and Why to See Your Doctor
When it comes to living a long and healthy life, regularly scheduled health care visits are your most useful tool. Unfortunately, the CDC has reported that men are nearly 80% less likely to seek regular health care than women. Regular visits provide insights that help you maintain general wellness and allow you and your physician to identify potentially severe health problems before they strike.
General wellness visits are recommended at least once every three years for men under 50 and annually for those over the age of 50. Men should make regularly scheduled visits throughout their life, including:
Cholesterol Screenings: Men at age 18 with an elevated risk should be tested once every five years.
Colorectal Exams: At age 45, men should begin to receive annual colorectal screenings.
Prostate Exams: Beginning at age 50, men should begin receiving prostate exams. Depending on your family history, your provider may recommend beginning these screenings earlier.
Additionally, screenings for weight, height, vision, hearing and more are recommended around age 20. These early readings will supply future providers with a baseline for your general health to compare future test results to.
Illnesses Common in Men
As of 2018, CDC studies showed that men’s life expectancy was five years shorter than that of women. While several nonmedical factors such as vehicle and work-related accidents are partially responsible for this statistic, there are also a handful of dangerous illnesses that are commonly found in men.
Heart disease comes in many forms, including coronary heart disease, heart valve disease, heart failure and more. Studies have shown that more than one in three men have some form of heart disease. Among them, high blood pressure is the most prevalent and can be commonly found in men under 45.
What can you do?
Quitting smoking, adopting a healthy diet, healthy weight management and regular health screenings are only among some of the ways one can take an active role in their heart health. Read our blog “10 Tips to Increase Heart Health” for more tips to keep your heart happy and healthy.
Cancers (Lung, Liver & Prostate)
Cancers are extremely serious due to their high fatality risk if gone undetected. In particular, studies have shown that men are generally more prone to experience cancers of the lungs (117,910 men estimated to be diagnosed in 2022) and liver (an estimated 24,500 U.S. men diagnosed annually) in their lifetime. However, the most prevalent among men is prostate cancer, which the American Cancer Society estimates will affect about 268,490 men in 2022 alone.
What can you do?
While deadly when left untreated, these dangerous diseases can be highly preventable with the proper screening plans and lifestyle choices.
Mental Health Issues (Depression & Suicide)
According to The National Institute of Mental Health, around six million men a year currently suffer from depression and/or suicidal thoughts. It is typical among those affected to push off seeking aid or treatment and, instead, opt for (often unhealthy) coping mechanisms, such as smoking, drinking and more which can lead to other unintended health complications. If you are a male experiencing a depressive disorder, know that you are not alone.
What can you do?
Healthy ways to manage your depression include:
- Speaking openly and honestly with friends and loved ones
- Regularly exercising
- Seeking help from a behavioral health specialist
Fetter is here for men’s health!
Fetter Health Care Network is proud to support all people in our community! Our reliable medical team is here to aid you on your health care journey with reliable knowledge and compassionate care. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our team, or visit our site to learn more about our full list of services.