👋 How Can We Help Make Health Care Better?
Celebrated each year during the month of June, Men’s Health Month raises awareness of preventable health issues while reminding us to encourage the men and boys in our lives to make healthy choices. The topic of men’s health has never been more important than during the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.
A recent survey found that men are feeling the mental and physical impact of the pandemic more than many are comfortable admitting. In the same survey, 77% of male respondents said their stress levels have increased during COVID-19, with 59% reporting a sense of isolation. While around 45% of men said their emotional and mental health have declined during the pandemic, experts agree that a significant portion of men tend to avoid seeking treatment for their physical or mental health1.
Men’s Health Month is an opportunity to reverse this trend, and support men and boys in prioritizing their physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. A good place to start is by making sure the men we know and care for are completing important health screenings, including these.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Men between the ages of 65 and 75 who smoke or have previously smoked are advised to get screened for abdominal aortic aneurysm (aortic bulging), a major risk for rupture that can lead to severe and life-threatening internal bleeding.
Blood cholesterol can be a key determinant of heart disease risk. As such, men ages 35 and older should have their blood cholesterol levels checked regularly — especially those who smoke, are overweight, have a family history of heart disease, have diabetes, or have high blood pressure. If you have a family history of heart disease, your provider may want you to get checked earlier.
All men should get their blood pressure regularly checked during doctor’s visits. High blood pressure may be an indicator of heart disease and other serious health issues.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in men, and the second leading cause of death among men2. Starting at age 50 (earlier if you have a family history), men should undergo screenings for colorectal cancer. This typically involves having a colonoscopy, but other types of tests are also available including sigmoidoscopies and stool tests.
Blood test screenings for diabetes are also recommended, especially for men with high blood pressure.
Hepatitis C Virus
Men born between 1945 and 1965, who were born to a mother with Hepatitis C virus, who have received a blood transfusion before 1992 or blood clotting factors before 1987, who have ever injected drugs, or who receive dialysis for kidney failure are advised to be screened for Hepatitis C — a leading cause of liver cancer.
Prostate cancer is one of the most comment cancers for men. Based on your risk levels, family history, and other factors, your provider may recommend multiple options for prostate cancer screenings. This may include a digital examination and/or a prostate-antigen test.
Making Healthier Choices
Lifestyle behaviors are another key factor to pay attention to during Men’s Health Month. Research reveals that men are more likely to smoke, struggle with alcohol and substance use, make unhealthy choices, and partake in risky behaviors than women3. Now is a great time for men looking to make healthy changes to enroll in smoking cessation and recovery programs, and talk to their providers about ways to adopt better lifestyle habits.
Mental Health Matters
Men’s Health Month applies to emotional and mental health, as well. To manage and improve the mental wellbeing of men and boys, experts recommend regular exercise, taking up hobbies and pursuing interests, and creating daily routines that include going to bed and getting up at the same time every day4. Psychologists say it’s equally important for men and boys to find a support network with whom they can share their concerns, issues, and feelings without judgement or stigma4.
SureCo joins the nation in thanking and celebrating the men who play such a vital role in our lives. Supporting the health and wellness of men, and the people who care for them, is why we’re here. We welcome the opportunity to help you find simplified solutions to help you reach your healthcare goals and live a healthier life. Reach out to us at (800) 467-4898 to get started.