Men: Let's Talk

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It’s what every man wants to avoid: a conversation about his health.  But what better time than now?  June is Men’s Health Month.

And there’s so much to say.

Take care of yourself so you can be around for those who depend on you, who love you, who enjoy your company.  Take care of yourself so you can avoid weight creeping up on your abdomen.  Take care of yourself so those around you don’t start harassing you about getting or looking older.  Take care of yourself because you deserve to be healthy!

But you know all that – so why are you still avoiding the subject?

Let Greene County Medical Center make it simple for you:

Don’t smoke. 

Seriously.  We are so beyond this being an issue, or we should be.  There is nothing healthy about smoking.  Nothing at all.  Smoking can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries, which can lead to heart disease, which can lead to a heart attack. Smoking also increases your blood pressure.  When you smoke, your ability to breathe properly and take in enough oxygen decreases. Smoking can also increase the likelihood of developing a blood clot. Do we need to mention lung cancer?

Maintain a healthy weight.

This means losing weight if necessary.  Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is imperative to your overall health. Being overweight is a major risk factor in several conditions and diseases like coronary heart disease, heart failure, high blood pressure and stroke. Manage your weight with healthy eating, exercise and lifestyle changes.

Schedule regular screenings.

While there are all kinds of cancers that affect men, two that are easy to monitor (and therefore treat early) are prostate and colon cancer.  Of course we know these screenings are anything but glamorous, but think of the alternative.

Your chances of preventing colon cancer, which is the third deadliest cancer in the U.S. among men (and women), can be improved by having regular colonoscopies.  Beginning at age 50, a colonoscopy should be done every 10 years.  Those with a higher risk, such as personal or family history of colon cancer, should begin having colonoscopies before age 50, based on provider recommendations.

According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men.  Two tests that can detect prostate cancer in its earliest stages are a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test or a digital rectal exam (DRE).  Either test is easy to get done.

Keep your blood pressure down.

Keep your blood pressure in check – by getting it checked on a regular basis.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that “1 of 3 adults has high blood pressure.”  And “only 52% of those people have their blood pressure under control.”

High blood pressure is dangerous – in fact, it is sometimes called the “silent killer.”  It can lead to heart disease or stroke – two of the leading causes of death for Americans.

Blood pressure can be lowered and controlled by medication.  But, better yet, high blood pressure can be prevented by living a healthy, active lifestyle.

Get regular physical exams. 

Seeing your primary provider for a general physical is the best way to review overall health status and find out what an expert believes you should focus on to maintain good health.

There you have it.  This is a good start – so what are you waiting for?  Let’s get started! 

Greene County Medical Center has visiting specialists, providers and UnityPoint Clinic on campus.  We’re ready and willing to help you be as healthy as you can be – for yourself, your family and your friends.