What is Men’s Health Week?
Men’s Health Week is an annual event that runs the week prior to, and up to Father’s Day and is meant to raise awareness of preventable diseases and encourage early detection/treatment of disease in males.
Heart disease, stroke, suicide/depression, lung cancer, and prostate cancer are all conditions that effect men at a very high rate. While all of these conditions are important to prevent and manage, there is one organ that is uniquely male, causes multiple health concerns, and is easy to treat when regular detection takes place. That organ is the prostate.
Even uttering the word prostate is relatively taboo and evokes discomfort and fear within many males. This social stigma needs to change and it starts through spreading awareness and understanding about why regular examination is so important.
The prostate can become inflamed or infected, enlarged through abnormal growth, or develop cancer. These conditions can effect urination and sexual function, which drastically changes quality of life. The good news is that with early detection treatment options are relatively simple and effective!
The American Cancer Society has released suggestions for men regarding prostate examination and ways to potentially prevent prostate conditions.
· Annual physicals with your physician, Prostate Specific Antigen blood tests (PSA) and a digital rectal exam (DRE) are simple ways to screen for prostate issues.
· Screenings should start at 50 years old for someone at average risk, 45 years old for someone at high risk, and 40 years old for individuals at even higher risk based on health factors and family history.
· Eat at least 2 ½ cups of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables each day.
· Be physically active.
· Stay at a healthy weight.
· Possibly take a daily Aspirin and limit excessive calcium intake.
Always consult your physician regarding health conditions and medicine or supplement changes. Safety always trumps an uncomfortable conversation or awkward exam. The health of each male is important not only to the individual, but their wives, husbands, children, parents, and friends. So if any questions ever arise do not be scared to ask!
Be well and celebrate Men’s Health Week by spreading awareness, understanding, and compassion to the men in your lives!
Kyle Kibler, PT, DPT