Men’s Health Week is celebrated each year as the week leading up to and including Father’s Day. The purpose of Men’s Health Week is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.
“Recognizing and preventing men’s health problems is not just a man’s issue. Because of its impact on wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters, men’s health is truly a family issue,” says Congressman Bill Richardson.
Men face unique health challenges, and one of the most dangerous is their reluctance to seek health care. In fact, according to Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), men are 24 percent less likely than women to have seen a doctor in the past year.
A snapshot of men’s health in the U.S. shows that they sometimes experience different, but no less serious, health problems than women. Heart disease, cancer, and accidents (unintentional injuries) are the top causes of death for men. The most commonly diagnosed cancers among men include prostate, lung, and colorectal types. A recent Federal study shows that men die from heart disease and chronic liver disease at nearly twice the rate of women.
Many of the major health risks that men face — such as colon cancer and heart disease — can actually be prevented and treated with earlier diagnosis. Screening tests can often find these diseases early, when they are easier to treat. For these reasons, it is crucial that men go against their tendency of avoiding health care and begin having regular checkups and screenings.
Six Manly Steps to Good Health:
1. Get routine check-ups and preventive screenings.
2. Be more physically active and make healthy food choices.
3. Get to your healthy weight and stay there.
4. Become tobacco free.
5. Drink only in moderation.
6. Manage stress.
Men’s Health Month is a chance for both men and women to increase their awareness of the potentially significant health problems that men face, as well as what steps they can take to prevent such problems. Taking care of yourself is part of being the best man you can be. There’s nothing manly — or beneficial — about ignoring your health.