Gents – contrary to what we think…we are not invincible. This is why I want to let you know about Men’s Health Month. It is important to know what we can do to stay (or get) healthy to live the best and longest lives we can.
Did you know that 1 out of 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime? This year alone, 855,220 American men will be diagnosed with cancer. Men’s Health Month every June is devoted to raising awareness on preventable diseases and what you can do to detect any signs and symptoms early.
This week is also Men’s Health Week, which leads up to Father’s Day. Consider these few quick facts and actions for you to take and pass along to a brother, friend, son or dad:
- Don’t Smoke: Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer for both men and women. Enough said. Not smoking (or quitting) is one step you can take to significantly lower your risk.
- Check “the boys”: The most common cancer in men ages 15 to 35 is testicular cancer. As one of the most preventable and treatable cancers, testicular cancer has a 99% five-year survival rate if caught early. Get to know your body. Become familiar with what is normal and what isn’t. Once a month, perform a self-exam. Are there any lumps? Is there any pain or swelling? If you have any doubts on what you find, consult a physician.
- Get a physical: Have a regular physical every one to two years. Men ages 50 or older need to get screened for cancers such as prostate and colorectal. Prostate cancer accounts for the most amount of new cancer cases among men. Again, localized cases of this cancer have a 100% five-year survival rate compared to a 28% survival rate after the cancer has spread. A colonoscopy every 10 years to detect colorectal cancer is one option amongst many other types of testing.
- Eat right, exercise, and respect the sun: June marks the early weeks of summer, so during these warmer months take the opportunity to eat healthier (and fresher) foods. Try this healthy breakfast pizza for your next meal. Who knew pizza for breakfast could be healthy? Start a new exercise routine at the beach and while doing so, be sure to bring along (and yes, wear!) sunscreen. Did you know that even those sunburns you got as a kid at summer camp can increase your risk?
- Talk about your family roots: Did your dad or grandfather have cancer? Did either serve in the military? My grandfather was exposed to asbestos during his service. It is important to separate the hereditary from environmental factors when analyzing your family medical history. Take the time this Father’s Day to capture your family medical history and learn something new about your Y-chromosome DNA.
Honor the fellow men in your life by making sure they are around for the next cookout or tee time. Make a tribute to them today!