The week of Monday, June 14, 2021 through Sunday, June 20, 2021, leading up to and including Father’s Day, is observed as Men’s Health Week. This annual observance aims to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems in boys and men. Men’s Health Week is also meant to encourage early detection and treatment of these problems.
Men’s Health Week serves as an opportunity for health care providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury. Such screenings include men aged 18 and older having their blood pressure checked, and men aged 35 and older having their cholesterol checked annually. Additionally screenings that should occur as men age include colon cancer and prostate cancer.
The bills creating Men’s Health Week were sponsored by former Senator Bob Dole and former Congressman Bill Richardson. The sponsors cited the cost-effectiveness of a shift from treatment to prevention in health care emphasis when presenting the bill. The supporters of Men’s Health Week also noted that prevention requires public awareness, and designating a week for this would spread information on preventing illnesses affecting males, which includes nationwide events and screenings. To help promote this information, here are some men’s health resources:
Nutritional Health: Taking control of your health by exercising, eating right and visiting your health care provider regularly all contribute to a better quality of life. Depending on age and level of physical activity, men should eat between two to 2.5 cups of fruit and 2.5 to four cups of vegetables every day. People who eat generous amounts of fruits and vegetables as part of a healthful diet are likely to have a lower risk of chronic diseases than people who eat only small amounts of fruits and vegetables.
Cardiovascular Health: Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is a general term that includes many different conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels, such as atrial fibrillation, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, heart attack, high blood pressure and stroke. According to the American Heart Association, over 39 million American men (one in three) suffer from one or more of these conditions, and every year just under half a million of them die of cardiovascular disease (one in four men) — that’s more than cancer and diabetes combined. Approximately 392,000 men die from cardiovascular disease each year.
Mental Health: As men age, they may start to feel stressed or depressed due to the loss of a loved one, health problems or financial difficulties. Stress may cause them to lose energy, fail to eat enough or isolate themselves. Proper diet management and physical exercise can be the key to a positive outlook and staying emotionally balanced. Mental health conditions men should be aware of include anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, stress and others.
Prostate Health: The prostate is a part of the male sex organs that produce fluid and contribute to the production of sperm. Over 30 million men suffer from prostate conditions that impact their quality of life. Each year over 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and about 30,000 will die from the disease. Prostate conditions include advanced prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostate cancer and prostatitis.
Sexual and Reproductive Health: Sexual desires and activity aren’t static. They change throughout life for lots of reasons, such as having children, coming to terms with sexual orientation, or physical or mental illness. Growing older can also have an effect on sex, but it’s important to realize that this is normal. Conditions that may impact men’s health include androgen, andropause, erectile dysfunction, hypogonadism, infertility, Peyronie’s disease, testicular cancer and more.