June is National Men’s Health Month, an important time for men to evaluate their health and take proactive steps, like routine screenings and testing, which can help detect signs of many preventable health issues.

Studies show that men are significantly less likely than women to visit a doctor or report symptoms when they arise. In fact, statistics show that only about 60% of men see a family practice provider for an annual routine checkup and only 40% go to the doctor if they have a serious problem.

Many cultural stigmas and stereotypes lead men to believe they must be strong and show no weaknesses. These beliefs have driven many men across the US to be less proactive about their health. Being proactive about one’s health is a vital part of staying healthy.

Taking preventive measures when it comes to men’s health is important because there are many different types of health problems that can affect men. It is also very important to consider lifestyle choices and other risk factors that can, many times, be controlled.

Some of the most common health issues that affect men are:

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Skin Cancer w Prostate Cancer
  • Testicular Cancer

There are many conditions that fall under the umbrella of “cardiovascular disease” and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, which are two leading causes of death among men. Regular bloodwork and health screenings are key factors in preventing or managing cardiovascular disease.

These tests will provide signs of disease and its progression and will help guide patients and their care teams on how to move forward.

Diabetes is another common condition among men, and many don’t know they have it. If left untreated, it can lead to various other conditions such as heart disease, stroke, kidney damage and neuropathy. Diabetes can be managed through medications and lifestyle changes, such as healthier diet and exercise.

Studies have shown that men of all ages are less likely than women to apply sunscreen or other protective products, leading to higher rates of skin cancer among men. Because of this, outcomes are often worse for men compared to women. Taking precautions to protect the skin can decrease chances of skin cancer, and early detection and treatment can improve recovery chances.
Prostate cancer is a very common cancer among men. On average, 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. The chances of prostate cancer drastically increase in older men, so it is recommended that screening begins by age 55.

Testicular cancer is a type of cancer that tends to affect younger men, and is the most common form of cancer in men between15-35. Testicular cancer is very treatable when detected early.

During Men’s Health Month and throughout the year, it is vital for men to understand the importance of routine health check-ups, doctor’s visits and seeking medical attention for issues that arise. Men should feel empowered to take care of themselves and to talk about their health, both physical and mental, without feeling like they are showing weakness.