National Men’s Health Week is celebrated every June to increase awareness of preventable health issues, and encourage men of all ages to stay on top of their health care with regular check ups. Whether it is a brother, a nephew, a boyfriend or a good friend, we all have important men in our lives. This week is the perfect time to remind the men in your life that how they approach their health care plays a role in their life expectancy.
Here are a few reasons that we should encourage men to remain consistent with their health care at every stage of life. First, there is a gap in life expectancy between males and females. Even though developments in diagnosis and treatment have lead to an overall increased life expectancy, the Center of Disease Control (CDC) reports that the life expectancy of women is 4.8 years higher than for men. Second, there are several diseases that only affect men like prostate cancer, with 177,489 men diagnosed in 2012. Third, males are more susceptible to specific diseases at earlier ages than females. A study from PubMed Center found that cardiovascular disease tends to develop in men seven to ten years before it does in women. Finally, men are less likely to seek medical help than women,statistically.
Top Health Concerns for Men
An important preventative measure for any disease is education. Take the time to learn about the different diseases most commonly affecting men, how to screen for them, and how to treat them are the first steps towards prevention. The CDC reports the top causes of death for men as heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory diseases, and stroke.
Although both men and women are at risk of developing heart disease, the CDC reports it as the leading cause in death for men in the United States. Heart disease is an umbrella term that includes several heart conditions. The top three risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking. Preventative measures, like regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet, help control high blood pressure and cholesterol, which can contribute to heart disease. Also, drinking in moderation and eliminating tobacco use will help reduce high blood pressure and contribute to overall better health.
The American Cancer Society states that the types of cancers that affect men most frequently are prostate, lung and colorectal. The World Cancer Research Fund recently found that around 20 percent of cancers in the United States are directly related to body fatness, physical inactivity and high alcohol consumption. Behavioral lifestyle changes can play a large role in preventing many types of cancer. The best defense against cancer is to know your family history, avoid tobacco, maintain a healthy weight and diet, limit alcohol intake, and get regular check ups. Although many cancers cannot be prevented, early detection can mean less extensive treatment and higher rates of recovery.
Health Care Choices
To make strides towards better health, men should consider staying in tune with their body by scheduling regular check ups. For any disease, early detection and diagnosis gives you the best chance of beating it. The Commonwealth Fund found that men are reluctant to seek medical care, with 33 percent of men reported not having a regular doctor and 24 percent of men reported not seeking medical attention even when feeling sick. This lack of attention to health care can lead to men delaying or never receiving preventative care for serious illnesses. So the key to living a healthy and long life is to take the time to monitor your health care and to pay attention to your lifestyle choices.
Crowdfunding for Men’s Health
With National Men’s Health Week upon us, now is the perfect time to set up a fundraiser for a friend, yourself or a loved one dealing with a men’s health issue. YouCaring recognizes the hardships that come with a difficult diagnosis, including financial and mental stresses. By creating a campaign on YouCaring, you can raise funds to help pay out-of-pocket medical expenses, while developing a community of people invested in helping your fundraiser’s beneficiary. Start your free fundraiser today and help celebrate National Men’s Health Week by encouraging the men you love to make their health a priority.