As we celebrate Men’s Health Month in June, it’s important to stay aware of health problems you or the men close to you may face and encourage early detection of these problems.
Whether you’re a guy who’s ready to get serious about your health, or a woman who wants to help keep the men in your life healthy, these tips can help men live happier, healthier, and stronger lives.
The three leading causes of death from cancer in men are lung, prostate, and colorectal cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, about 12 out of 100 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. And, for African American men, the risk of dying from low-grade prostate cancer is double that of men of other races. That is why early treatment is so critically important.
Talk with your doctor about screening guidelines, preventive care, and managing your emotional wellness. Depending on your personal health history, family health history, or screening results, your doctor will recommend an individualized screening schedule.
Watch your waist
Regardless of your weight, a waist that measures more than 40 inches increases your risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and colorectal cancer.* High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is devastating to communities of color, particularly among Blacks, where males have the highest hypertension death rates of any other racial, ethnic, or gender group.
Help reverse your risk by reducing your waistline through healthy eating and exercise. You can partner with your doctor and care team to pull together a treatment plan centered around a plant-predominant diet, exercise, sleep and stress reduction. Your doctor is key to finding the right level of medications or even eliminating your need for medications as your healthy lifestyle efforts increase.
Seek help for mental health issues
Mental health matters. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, men are more than three times more likely to die by suicide than women, making it the seventh leading cause of death for males. While both men and women experience depression, men are less likely to recognize, talk about and seek treatment for depression.
Reaching out for help is a sign of strength – not weakness. You can talk to your doctor about depression and you can also check your symptoms with Kaiser Permanente’s short self-assessment to find out if you might be depressed.
Learn more about men’s health this month by visiting kp.org.
*Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics