Men’s Health Week
Next week marks the 13th year of International Men’s Health Week, celebrated annually during the week preceding and including Father’s Day to honor the importance of men’s health and wellness.
Men’s Health Week was chosen for this specific time of year to make use of the extra attention paid to male family members near the holiday.
Observers of Men’s Health Week are sometimes seen wearing a blue ribbon as a symbol of their support for the fight against prostate cancer. However, problems affecting men’s health extend far beyond prostate cancer and other commonly recognized men’s illnesses.
To help educate men and their families on how they can be more proactive regarding their personal health, U.S. Preventive Medicine, a company working to organize and advance a culture of prevention throughout America, today announced its list of the five most critical health conditions affecting men and the actions they must take in order to prevent a serious illness from occurring.
“It is crucial for men to take full control of their health, especially since men are typically less proactive about their health than women,” said Dr. Boyd Lyles, Chief Medical Officer, of U.S. Preventive Medicine. “By taking preventive action at the recommended time, men can stay ahead of the curve and become more knowledgeable about health concerns, creating a greater opportunity to identify a potentially serious condition before it becomes life threatening.”
Below is a list of five key conditions U.S. Preventive Medicine believes all men should screen against:
* Prostate Cancer
— Digital Rectal Exam (DRE): The DRE screening is an early and simple test to screen for prostate cancer. The goal is to detect the cancer in its early stages when treatment is most successful; patients should consult their doctors for when and how often to receive this exam.
— Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA blood test): PSA is a protein produced by the cells of the prostate gland and is often elevated in the presence of prostate cancer and in other prostate disorders. A blood test to measure PSA is one of the most effective tests currently available for the early detection of prostate cancer; patients should consult their doctors for when and how often to receive this test.
* Heart Disease
— Blood Pressure: A blood pressure screening measures the pressure against the walls of your blood vessels. Men should have their blood pressure checked at least every two years until age 65; after that, they should be checked yearly.
— Cholesterol Testing:� � High blood cholesterol is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke. It is recommended that men age 20 and older have a fasting “lipoprotein profile” every five years to test for good cholesterol, bad cholesterol and blood fats.
— Treadmill Stress Test: This test looks for critical levels of coronary artery blockage. The patient’s heart rate and blood pressure are recorded at rest. The patient walks on the treadmill until they achieve a target heart rate. The test shows the doctor the presence of alarming changes or serious irregular heart beats.
— Blood Sugar Testing: This test measures the amount of glucose, a type of sugar, in your blood. This is usually the first test done to diagnose diabetes.
* Colon Cancer
— Stool Blood Test: This test is used to find small amounts of hidden� � (occult) blood in the stool. Very small amounts of blood can be in the stool when polyps or cancers start to form. Having this test at an early stage can greatly improve the chances of successful treatment.
— Colonoscopy: A colonoscopy is usually conducted in patients 50 years of age and older and allows the doctor to see the entire colon. If a polyp is found, the doctor may remove it. If anything else looks abnormal, a biopsy can be done at an early stage.
* Lung Cancer
— Lung cancer is a common form of cancer diagnosed in the United States, and men who smoke are especially at risk. Men who feel that they may have symptoms of lung problems such as persistent coughing and wheezing, chest pains, or other respiratory� � symptoms, should see their doctor immediately to determine the appropriate diagnostic tests to have administered as there are several screenings that can be used .The physician may choose amongst the following screenings to detect lung cancer and other lung problems; Chest X-Ray,� � CT Scan; Pulmonary Function Test, Sputum sample, or Bronchoscopy.