Men of all ages should think about their health. Risk increases with age for some health problems, but the decisions that you make throughout your life contribute to your health now and in the future. Here are a few things about men’s health that every man should know.Young men and boys need to think about men's health, too! The decisions that you make in life affect your health now and in the future. Click To Tweet
Prostate cancer only affects men
There’s often overlap between health needs for men and women, but some health issues are specific to men. Prostate cancer only affects men, and it’s one of the most common types of cancer in men.
Maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can decrease a man’s risk for prostate cancer.
Colorectal cancer is highly preventable
Men and women both can develop colon or rectal cancers. It’s the third most common cancer — excluding skin cancers — diagnosed in the U.S. However, colorectal cancer is almost entirely preventable. Precancerous colorectal polyps can be removed before they become cancerous. Screening for these polyps significantly reduces risk for colorectal cancer.
Men are more likely to have a heart attack
You are more likely to have a heart attack if you’re a man than if you are a woman. The more risk factors you have, the higher your risk of heart attack.
Risk factors that increase your risk for heart attack:
- being older
- being male
- a family history of heart disease
- African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, American Indians, and Asian-Americans are at a higher risk
- high cholesterol
- high blood pressure
- sedentary lifestyle
- being overweight or obese
- drinking too much alcohol
Men have a higher risk for lung cancer
Men are statistically more likely to use tobacco products than women. According to the World Heatlh Organization, 40% of men in the world smoke, and 9% of women smoke. Almost all cases of COPD and lung cancer are caused by smoking, and tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. There’s no safe way to smoke.
Men are more likely to drink in excess
According to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, almost one-fourth of adult men reported binge drinking five times a month. Men are nearly twice as likely to binge drink than women. Excessive drinking is associated with a number of long-term and short-term health risks.
Suicide death is higher in men than women
Your mental health and well-being is just as important as your physical health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men are more likely to die by suicide than women. There’s strength in asking for help and talking about mental health.
The three greatest risk to men’s health
The three leading causes of death for men in 2016 were heart disease, cancer, and accidents (unintentional injuries). While these health threats are not entirely preventable, lifestyle changes can decrease the risk of death from heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injury.
Men are less likely to visit their doctor or seek medical care
While it isn’t one of the leading causes of death for men, not seeking medical care is a serious pitfall for a man’s health. Studies show that women are more likely to see a physician or seek medical care than men.
Concerns about money, not having a primary care physician, inconvenience, or stoicism are common excuses, but the reality is that visiting a medical professional can greatly improve your health.
Your lifestyle choices have a direct influence on your health
Understanding risk factors helps you make informed decisions about your health. Healthy lifestyle choices can help combat the biggest threats to men’s health.
Healthy lifestyle choices that can directly improve men’s health:
- Regular exercise
- Eating a healthy diet
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Not smoking
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Relaxation and stress management
- Regular visits with a primary care physician
Regular wellness visits can bolster men’s health
Don’t just visit your doctor when you’re sick. Make a habit of scheduling an annual wellness exam. This ensures that you stay in good health and catch health issues before they become serious.
Remember that focusing on men’s health doesn’t start at a certain age. It’s important for young men and boys to make healthy decisions, too. Talk to a doctor in Northwest Arkansas today!