Healthy Living

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Screenings are essential to men’s health 

Father’s Day is a time to honor our fathers, uncles, brothers, sons and friends with gifts, praise and fun events. It is also an appropriate time to tell your father and all of the men close to you that it’s important to stay educated and on top of his health.

Let this Father’s Day, June 20, serve as a reminder to contact your doctor to schedule checkups and screenings that help lower risks of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and others conditions. Take this opportunity to remind your father to do the same.

Click here to make a donation to Columbia St. Mary’s Foundation in honor of your father, and dads everywhere. Include your father’s information in the “Honor/Memorial Gift and Notification” section as well as a personal message (if you choose) in the Comment section and we will send a note of thanks on your behalf.

Alarming Statistics

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • 12 percent of men, ages 18 and older, are in fair or poor health.
  • Only 34 percent of men, ages 18 and older, participate in regular physical activity in their leisure-time.
  • 23 percent of men, ages 18 and older, currently smoke.
  • 31 percent of men, ages 20 and older, have hypertension.
  • 32 percent of men, ages 20 and older, are obese.

With these alarming statistics, men need to be aware that getting the right screenings at the right time is an essential step to maintaining health and can find issues such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease early.

Cancer

Colorectal cancer
is the second most common cause of death from cancer and men have a higher risk than women. Screenings for colon and colorectal cancer should begin at age 50 for average-risk adults, most commonly with a colonoscopy.

Testicular cancer most often occurs between the ages of 20 and 54. The American Cancer Society recommends that all men have a testicular exam during any routine physical. 

 

Prostate cancer can be detected with a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test. The American Urological Society recommends a first time PSA test at age 40.

Skin cancer can appear across all ages and genders, but older men are twice as likely as women to develop melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Men are two to three times as likely to get non-melanoma skin cancers. The American Cancer Society and the American Academy of Dermatology recommend regular self-exams, checking for changes such as color, shape or size to the marks on your skin. Follow-up with a dermatologist is suggested if something causes concern.

For information on Columbia St. Mary’s Cancer Care programs and locations, please click here.  

Diabetes

Diabetes
, if uncontrolled, can lead to heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, impotence, blindness and nerve damage. If detected early, with a fasting plasma glucose test, diabetes can be controlled with exercise,  diet, weight loss and medication. This test should occur every three years starting at age 45.

For information on Columbia St. Mary’s Diabetes Treatment Centers, please click here.

Heart Disease

Men, ages 40 and older, have a one in eight chance of suffering sudden cardiac death. This risk is even higher for African-American men. Most of the nearly 300,000 Americans who suffer sudden cardiac arrest have not been diagnosed with heart disease. This is why is it so important to know the risk factors and screenings that can detect a heart problem. Risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking. Periodontal disease and poor dental health are also linked to heart disease.

  

Genes, diet, fitness level, stress level and overall health all play a role in men’s heart health. To keep their hearts healthy, men should not smoke, exercise regularly, eat a high-fiber diet that is low in sweets and saturated fats, maintain a healthy weight and maintain normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Risks of hypertension and high blood pressure increase with age and can be related to weight and lifestyle. It is important to know your blood pressure. Normal blood pressure is 120/80 or below. High blood pressure is 140/90 or above. Any number in between is hypertension.

High levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol causes plaque to build up in the artery walls which increases risk of heart disease. Men, ages 20 and over, should have the fasting blood lipid panel – a blood test that measures the levels of LDL cholesterol, HDL or “good” cholesterol and triglycerides or blood fats. The results of this test can determine what can be done to reduce risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

For more information on Columbia St. Mary’s Cardiovascular Services, please click here.

 

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