June is Men's Health Month
Published on June 03, 2019
Weld County — Raising awareness of preventable health problems and early detection and treatment of disease is important year-round, but June is Men’s Health Month and the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment would like to remind men just how important it is they stay on top of their health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half as many men as women go to the doctor for annual exams and preventive services. To reverse these trends, the Men’s Health Network has launched a “Get It Checked” campaign that provides guidelines for men on how often they should get screened for certain medical conditions. Guidelines for some of the most common conditions include:
- Physical exams: Men ages 20-39 should get a physical every 3 years to assess their overall health status; men ages 40-49 every 2 years; and men ages 50 and older should get a physical every year.
- Blood pressure: High blood pressure often has no symptoms but can cause permanent damage to organs, so men of all ages should have their blood pressure checked at least once per year.
- Rectal exams and PSA blood tests: Men of all ages should get yearly rectal exams to check for hemorrhoids, lower rectal problems, and colon and prostate cancers. Starting at 40, men at high risk should consider getting an annual baseline PSA blood test, which screens for increased levels of certain toxins in the prostate that can cause infection or cancer. All men over the age of 50 should get an annual PSA blood test.
- Colorectal exams: Screening for colorectal cancer should start at age 50 and continue until age 75. A colonoscopy is a procedure that uses a flexible scope to examine the rectum and colon for cancer at its earliest and most treatable stages.
In addition to seeking preventive services for these conditions, there are simple lifestyle changes men can make to improve their health, including:
- Eating a varied diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat foods.
- Drinking 8 glasses of water per day and limiting alcohol to 2 drinks per day.
- Exercising moderately for 30 minutes 5 times per week or vigorously for 20 minutes 3 times per week.
- Quitting smoking.
More than half of premature deaths among men are preventable. By following these screening guidelines and implementing these lifestyle changes, men can start to live healthier and longer lives. For more information on disease prevention and healthy eating habits, go to www.weldhealth.org.