June is Men's Health Month - Take Charge of Your Health

Men: Take Charge of Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month and we would like to focus on increasing awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. Take charge of your health now by seeking regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury. Men can proactively take care of their health as they age with annual physicals and screenings, a well-balanced diet, exercise, and keeping up-to-date with flu shots and vaccinations.

Did you know?

Compared to women, men are more likely to:

  • Smoke
  • Drink alcohol
  • Make unhealthy or risky choices
  • Put off regular checkups and medical care1 

The good news is it’s never to late to start taking better care of your health.

What can you do to take charge of your health?

See a doctor for regular checkups even if you feel fine. This is important because some diseases don’t have symptoms at first. Plus, seeing a doctor will give you a chance to learn more about your health.

You can also take care of your health by:

  • Getting screening tests that are right for you
  • Making sure you are up to date on important shots
  • Watching out for signs of health problems like diabetes or depression
  • Eating healthy
  • Getting and staying active

It’s not too late to start healthier habits. Make eating healthy and being active part of your daily routine. A healthy diet and regular physical activity can help lower your:

  • Blood pressure
  • Blood sugar
  • Cholesterol
  • Weight

By keeping these numbers down, you can lower your risk of serious health problems like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Help prevent health problems by:

  • Drinking alcohol only in moderation
  • Quitting smoking

If you have a concern about your smoking or alcohol consumption, talk with a doctor or health care professional for advice.

Make small changes every day.

Small changes can add up to big results – like lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes or heart disease.

  • Take a walk instead of having a cigarette.
  • Try a green salad instead of fries.
  • Drink water instead of soda or juice.

Talk about it.

Don’t be embarrassed to talk about your health. Start by talking to family members to find out which diseases run in your family. Share this information with your doctor.

Get preventive care to stay healthy.

Many people think of the doctor as someone to see when they are sick. But doctors also provide services – like shots and screening tests – that help keep you from getting sick in the first place.

Get screening tests to find problems early.

Screenings are medical tests that doctors use to check for diseases and health conditions before there are any signs or symptoms. Screenings help find problems early, when they may be easier to treat.1

  • Get your blood pressure checked at least once every 2 years.
  • Talk to your doctor about getting your cholesterol checked. You could have high cholesterol and not know it.
  • If you are age 50 to 74, get tested regularly for colorectal cancer. Ask your doctor what type of colorectal cancer screening test is right for you.
  • If you are a man age 65 to 75 and have ever smoked, talk with your doctor about your risk for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).
  • If you feel stressed, anxious, or sad, ask your doctor to screen you for depression. Most people with depression feel better when they get treatment.

Ask your doctor about taking aspirin every day.

If you are age 50 to 59, taking aspirin every day can lower your risk of heart attack and colorectal cancer. Talk with your doctor about whether daily aspirin is right for you.

Men’s Cancer Screenings 

Every year, more than 300,000 men in the United States lose their lives to cancer.2 The most common kinds of cancer among men in the U.S. are:

    • Skin cancer
    • Prostate cancer
    • Lung cancer, and
    • Colorectal (colon) cancer

Colorectal (colon) cancer: If you are 50 to 75 years old, get tested. Talk to your doctor. The schedule depends on the type of test used.

Lung cancer: If you are 55 to 80 years old and are a heavy smoker or a past smoker who quit within the last 15 years, ask your doctor about a low-dose CT scan every year.

Prostate cancer: Talk to your doctor. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends against PSA screening for men who do not have symptoms.

Skin cancer: Talk to your doctor. The USPSTF has concluded that there is not enough evidence to recommend for or against routine skin cancer screening.

Eating Healthy: The Basics

Eating healthy means getting enough vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients – and limiting unhealthy foods and drinks. Eating healthy also means getting the number of calories that’s right for you (not eating too much or too little).

Be sure to get plenty of:

  • Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products
  • Seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, beans, peas, seeds, and nuts

It’s also important to limit:

  • Sodium (salt)
  • Added sugars – like refined (regular) sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, and honey
  • Saturated fats, which come from animal products like cheese, fatty meats, whole milk, and butter, and plant products like palm and coconut oils
  • Trans fats, which may be in foods like stick margarines, coffee creamers, and some desserts
  • Refined grains which are in foods like cookies, white bread, and some snack foods3

To get a personalized Daily Food Plan to help you choose healthy foods, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.


References

  1. https://healthfinder.gov/healthtopics/population/men/doctor-visits/men-take-charge-of-your-health#the-basics_1
  2. https://blogs.cdc.gov/cancer/2016/06/13/mens-cancer-screening-cheat-sheet/
  3. https://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/health-conditions-and-diseases/diabetes/eat-healthy

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