Men’s Health Month: Prioritizing Your Well-Being

man smiling making heart gesture

June is Men’s Health Month, an important time to emphasize how crucial it is for men to take action on their preventive healthcare. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates a concerning disparity: women are 33% more likely to visit a doctor and significantly more likely to adhere to preventive screenings and checkups. According to a study by the Cleveland Clinic, only half (50 percent) of men surveyed said that they consider getting their annual check-ups a regular part of taking care of themselves. This month serves as an opportunity to bridge this gap and empower men to take a proactive approach to their health.

The Importance of Preventive Care

Regular medical checkups, even in the absence of concerning symptoms, are a cornerstone of proactive healthcare. These visits allow physicians to identify potential health risks early on when intervention can be most effective.

Key Health Screenings for Men

  • Prostate Cancer Screenings: Prostate cancer is a prevalent concern for men, particularly those over 50 or with a family history. Early detection through prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing and digital rectal examinations is critical for successful treatment.
  • Colon Cancer Screenings: Colon cancer is another serious threat to men’s health. Routine screenings, such as colonoscopies, can detect and remove precancerous polyps before they develop into cancer.
  • Other Considerations: Additional screenings, such as blood pressure checks, cholesterol tests, and blood sugar monitoring, are crucial for identifying potential risk factors for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Building a Foundation of Wellness

Beyond preventive screenings, establishing healthy lifestyle habits is essential for overall well-being.

  • Diet & Nutrition: Men are encouraged to focus on a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources. Limiting intake of processed foods, saturated fats, and added sugars is key.
  • Physical Activity: Regular exercise is vital for maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress, and improving overall health. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week.
  • Mental Health Awareness: Men are less likely to seek help for mental health concerns, despite the prevalence of issues like stress, anxiety, and depression. Open communication with a doctor or therapist is crucial to managing these challenges and maintaining emotional well-being.

Taking Charge of Your Health

Men’s Health Education & Awareness Month is a springboard for ongoing commitment to health. By prioritizing preventive healthcare, establishing healthy habits, and seeking support from healthcare professionals, men can optimize their physical and mental well-being. Remember, prioritizing your health is an investment in a longer, stronger, and more fulfilling life.

Learn more about the Uncas Health District Mobile Health Team

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: the importance of screening and early detection

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer is among the most common cancers among women in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), an estimated 297,790 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the United States in 2023, and 43,700 women will die from the disease.

While breast cancer can be a devastating disease, it is important to remember that early detection is key. When breast cancer is found early and treated promptly, the 5-year survival rate is nearly 100%. That’s why it’s so important to get regular breast cancer screenings.

Why is getting screened important?

Breast cancer screening tests can help find breast cancer early when it is most treatable. When breast cancer is found early, it is often smaller and less likely to have spread to other parts of the body. This means that treatment is often more effective and less invasive.

Who should get screened?

The ACS recommends that all women at average risk of breast cancer begin getting annual mammograms at age 40. Women at higher risk of breast cancer, such as those with a family history of the disease, may need to start screening earlier.

How often should I get screened?

The ACS recommends that most women get a mammogram every year. However, some women may need to get screened more often, depending on their individual risk factors.

If I find a lump in my breast, what should I do?

If you find a lump in your breast, it is important to see a doctor right away. Most breast lumps are not cancer, but it is important to have them checked out by a doctor to be sure.

How can I support Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

There are many ways to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Here are a few ideas:

  • Get screened for breast cancer.
  • Talk to your friends and family about the importance of getting screened.
  • Donate to a breast cancer charity.
  • Volunteer your time to help people affected by breast cancer.

Breast cancer is a serious disease, but it is one that is often treatable when found early. That’s why it’s so important to get regular breast cancer screenings. If you are 40 or older, talk to your doctor about your risk of breast cancer and whether you should start getting screened.

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