This November, join us in celebrating National Men’s Health Month (better known as Movember), which highlights men’s health issues with special attention given to prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health.
Globally, men live, on average, five fewer years than women. But it doesn’t have to be this way, as the reasons behind this trend are often largely preventable. Let this month be a reminder: We can all take action to help ourselves and our fathers, husbands, brothers, and friends live healthier, happier, and longer lives.
A growing number of men — around 10.8 million globally — are currently facing a prostate cancer diagnosis. In the United States alone, nearly one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. Early detection is one of the best ways to fight this increasingly common disease. Starting at age 50, experts recommend that men talk with their doctors about prostate cancer, specifically asking whether you are a candidate for PSA testing. African Americans or individuals with a family history of prostate cancer should start this conversation sooner, around age 45.
Additionally, testicular cancer is the most common cancer in younger men, age 15-39, with nearly half of all diagnoses occurring in men age 20-34. The good news is that these cases are highly treatable, even at an advanced stage. Again, the key is detection — and experts urge men to do monthly self-exams, making note of any changes, lumps or swelling of the testicles, along with yearly physical exams by a doctor.
Mental health, on the other hand, is something many men struggle with but are often reluctant to discuss or seek help for, when needed. Across the world, one man dies by suicide every minute of every day, with males accounting for 75% of all suicides worldwide. But suicide is another highly preventable problem that men face disproportionally. Improving overall mental health and helping men establish better social connections can help reduce the risk of suicide. If you or someone you know is exhibiting symptoms of a mental health crisis, visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org or call 1-800-273-TALK to receive support.
Generally speaking, men tend to place their own needs secondary to the needs of others — whether at work or at home — and this can lead to delayed detection of preventable diseases. Employers, however, can help ensure that the men in their workforce are getting the care and attention they need to prevent serious illness through companywide health screenings. Mercy Urgent Care and Mercy Occupational Medicine offer a variety of onsite screenings designed to help companies promote an environment of health and wellness for all employees.
To discuss health and wellness programs for your employees, contact Mercy Occupational Medicine at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 828-254-7576.
Sources: American Cancer Society, us.movember.com