June is Men’s Health Month, which helps foster awareness of and conversations about the health issues all men face. This list includes the five most common health concerns men worry about. Read along to find out how to help prevent them.
Being diagnosed with prostate cancer is a major health concern for men. Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer and second leading cause of cancer death in American men. The good news is, if detected and treated early, the survival rate is nearly 100%. Although many risk factors can’t be controlled (such as age, ethnicity, family history, etc.) and there is no sure way to prevent it, there are some things you can do. Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight and taking vitamins such as Vitamin E might lower your risk. It is also recommended men receive a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, which helps your doctor determine if you need further testing or if you are considered to have a healthy prostate.
Lung Cancer is by far the number one cancer killer in men and women, making up almost 25% of cancer deaths. Smoking is the leading risk factor. Others include exposure to secondhand smoke, family history, and exposure to air pollution and asbestos. The best way to reduce your risk of lung cancer is not to smoke and to avoid breathing in other people’s smoke. No matter what your age or how long you’ve smoked, quitting may lower your risk of lung cancer and help you live longer. The American Cancer Society recommends an annual lung cancer screening with a low-dose CT scan (LDCT) for certain people at higher risk for lung cancer who meet certain conditions.
Heart disease causes about 1 in 4 deaths, making it the leading cause of death in the United States. Risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, smoking and physical inactivity. While heart disease can be deadly, it’s also preventable in most people. By adopting healthy lifestyle habits, you can potentially live longer with a healthier heart. To improve your circulatory health, exercise at least 3 to 4 times a week for 20 to 40 minutes, along with maintaining a healthy diet.
Arthritis and Joint Issues
The most common signs and symptoms of arthritis involve the joints. Signs and symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling and decreased range of motion. There are a few healthy habits you can practice to reduce your risk of developing painful joints as you get older. Many of these practices — like exercising, eating a healthy diet and controlling your weight — prevent other diseases as well.
Suicide and Depression
Mental health is important in every stage of life. Depression is a common and serious issue that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Both men and women get depressed, but their willingness to talk about their feelings may be very different. It may take longer for men to realize they are experiencing it, and family and friends may recognize it first. Some behaviors to look out for are anger, aggression, risk-taking behavior and substance and alcohol abuse. Regular exercise, staying positive, maintaining similar daily routines, counseling and surrounding yourself with people you can talk to help. Although women are more likely to attempt suicide, men are more likely to die by suicide because they use more lethal methods and act more impulsively. If you are thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
These are the five most common health concerns men worry about. Although each has risk factors, most are lifestyle changes. Through these simple changes, many of these issues can be prevented.