OGDENSBURG -- Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center is celebrating National Men’s Health month during June to heighten awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease.
“There are far less men seeking health care than women. An annual doctor visit starting at age 30 is helpful for detection of silent health problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Untreated, these conditions lead to heart disease and strokes, which are leading killers among men. Preventive care discussions about weight loss, smoking cessation, safe use of alcohol and immunizations can be important,” said Robert Cruikshank, family practice physician.
“Cancer screening includes surveillance for melanoma and testicular cancer in younger men. For men over 50, if there is family history, we discuss screening for colon and prostate cancer,” he said.
“There are several things a man can do to maximize his odds of enjoying good health besides regular healthcare visits. Striving to maintain a healthy body weight through making good eating choices and regular exercise is primary,” he said.
“Prevention is the key to staying healthy. Consistently making small changes to improve your health is often the best plan,” he said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following tips for men to improve their health:
• Eat less salt
• Move more
• Toss out tobacco
• Get good sleep
• Eat healthy by adding more fruits and vegetables to your plate
• Tame stress
• Get preventive medical tests you need
• Keep track of your numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass index)
• Find affordable health care
• Get vaccinated
• Keep alcohol intake to a minimum
• Pay attention to signs and symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, excessive thirst, or problems with urination.
According to the CDC, of men 18 years and older, 12.5 percent are in fair or poor health, 31.2 percent reported of having five or more drinks of alcohol a day, 22.2 percent smoke cigarettes, 33.9 percent are obese, 31.7 percent have hypertension, 18.9 percent have no health insurance, and the top three leading causes of death are heart disease, cancer and accidents.