Men’s Health Awareness Month

If you aren’t already aware, June is Men’s Health and Cancer Awareness Month.  It was designated in 1994 to encourage early detection and treatment of disease.  Routine health screenings and diagnostic tests can save the lives of both men and boys.  In the U.S., over five million men have been diagnosed with some form of cancer.  Prostate, colon, lung, and skin cancers most often affect men.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more men die from cancer, heart disease, injuries, stroke and diabetes than women.  However, they are half as likely to go to the doctor for annual exams and preventive care.   Recommended screening tests (previous blog entry):  How to Stay Healthy if You’re a Man.

Continue reading “Men’s Health Awareness Month”

How to Stay Healthy If You’re a Man

Male signOne of the most important ways for men at any age to stay healthy and live longer is to get recommended screening tests.  These tests can detect diseases early (i.e. cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and more) when they are easier to treat.

NOTE: If you have risk factors, a diagnosed condition, or a family history of certain diseases, talk to your physician.  The types of tests, when you start testing, and how often you test may differ from the standard recommendations below.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for the following diseases:

Scale1.  Obesity: Have your Body Mass Index (BMI) calculated to screen for obesity.  BMI is a tool that is used to measure body fat by the weight (in kilograms) to height (in meters) ration of an individual.  A BMI of 25 – 29.9 kg/m indicates overweight and a BMI greater than 30 kg/m indicates obesity.

You can use the BMI calculator from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to find your own BMI.

2.  High Cholesterol (age 45+): Starting at age 35, have your blood checked regularly for cholesterol levels (fasting blood test).  Talk to your provider about testing earlier if you are younger than 35 and if:

  • You have diabetes.
  • You have high blood pressure.
  • You have a family history of heart disease.
  • You smoke.

Sphygmomanometer BloodPressure3.  High Blood Pressure (age 18+): Starting at age 18, have your blood pressure checked at least every two years.  A blood pressure reading of 130/80 and above is high.

4.  Colorectal Cancer (age 50+): Starting at age 50, your physician can decide which test is right for you.   Continue reading “How to Stay Healthy If You’re a Man”

How to Stay Healthy If You’re a Woman

Female signOne of the most important ways for women at any age to stay healthy and live longer is to get recommended screening tests.  These tests can detect diseases early (i.e. cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, and more) when they are easier to treat.

NOTE: If you have risk factors, a diagnosed condition, or a family history of certain diseases, talk to your physician.  The types of tests, when you start testing, and how often you test may differ from the standard recommendations below.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for the following diseases:

Weight_Scale1.  Obesity: Have your Body Mass Index (BMI) calculated to screen for obesity.  BMI is a tool that is used to measure body fat by the weight (in kilograms) to height (in meters) ration of an individual.  A BMI of 25 – 29.9 kg/m indicates overweight and a BMI greater than 30 kg/m indicates obesity.

You can use the BMI calculator from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to find your own BMI.

2.  Breast Cancer (age 40+): Starting at age 20, the American Cancer Society recommends getting a Clinical Breast Exam (CBE) by your health care provider about every 3 years.  Breast self-exam (BSE) is also an option for women starting in their 20s.  At age 40, you should have a mammogram every year and a CBE prior to the mammogram.

3.  High Cholesterol (age 45+): Starting at age 45, have your blood checked regularly for cholesterol levels (fasting blood test).  Talk to your provider about testing earlier if you are younger than 45 and if: