By d-mars.com News Provider
Anchored by a Congressional health education program, Men’s Health Month is celebrated across the country with screenings, health fairs, media appearances, and other health education and outreach activities. The response has been overwhelming with thousands of awareness activities in the USA and around the globe. Many companies and organizations are even going to use their company’s dress policy to celebrate Wear Blue Friday, the Friday before Father’s day. The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. This month gives health care providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury.
Below are facts and statistics on some diseases that men should know:
Prostate Cancer – You should know what your prostate is and what it does. Over 30 million men suffer from prostate conditions that impact their quality of life. Each year over 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and about 30,000 will die from it.
- I in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
- 1 in 5 African-American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
- Some men are at higher risk than others.
African-American men: African-American men are over 1.57-times as likely as the general population to develop prostate cancer, but over 2.14-times as likely to die from prostate cancer.
Men with a Family History: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that men with a brother, father, or son who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer are 2- to 3-times more likely to develop prostate cancer.
American Indian/Alaska Native men: Have the lowest incidence rate of prostate cancer, but are twice as likely as Asian/Pacific Islanders (who have a higher incidence rate) to die from it.
But, all men are at risk, and some who are not in any of the high risk categories are diagnosed with aggressive cancer. Stage at diagnosis is the best indicator of survival.
African-American men are more than 2x as likely to die of prostate cancer. But, if diagnosed at the same stage, the mortality of African-American men is the same as the general population. The 5-year relative survival rate among African-Americans who are diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer is close to 100%, but drops to 29% when the cancer has spread to distant sites.
The American Cancer Society states that the steady decline in African-American prostate cancer death rates since a peak in 1993 is possibly due to improved treatment “and early detection by PSA.”
Sleep Apnea – Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times. This means the brain — and the rest of the body — may not get enough oxygen.
There are two types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): The more common of the two forms of apnea, it is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep.
- Central sleep apnea: Unlike OSA, the airway is not blocked, but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe, due to instability in the respiratory control center.
Am I at Risk for Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea can affect anyone at any age, even children. Risk factors for sleep apnea include:
- Being male
- Being overweight
- Being over age 40
- Having a large neck size (17 inches or greater in men and 16 inches or greater in women)
- Having large tonsils, a large tongue, or a small jaw bone
- Having a family history of sleep apnea
- Gastroesophageal reflux, or GERD
- Nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum, allergies, or sinus problems
In addition, untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for poor performance in everyday activities, such as at work and school, motor vehicle crashes, and academic underachievement in children and adolescents.
High Blood Pressure – High blood pressure — in men and women — is a big problem. One in every three adult Americans — about 65 million people — have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Many more are at risk of developing it. Over half of all Americans age 60 and older have it and over a lifetime, the risk of developing high blood pressure is 90%.
Typically, blood pressure increases with age. Risk of high blood pressure begins to climb when men hit age 45, although it can occur in younger men. African-Americans tend to develop it younger and have more severe hypertension. Obesity or a family history of high blood pressure also increases risk.
High blood pressure is especially dangerous, because people can have it for years without knowing. In fact, one in three Americans with the condition doesn’t know it.
Despite these gloomy statistics, high blood pressure is not inevitable. There is plenty you can do to prevent, delay, and treat the condition.
10 ways to control high blood pressure without medication:
- Lose extra pounds and watch your waistline
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a healthy diet
- Reduce sodium in your diet
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink
- Quit smoking
- Cut back on caffeine
- Reduce your stress
- Monitor your blood pressure at home and see your doctor regularly
- Get support
This month is Men’s Health Month, and this month celebrated around the nation raises awareness of health issues impacting our men and boys. If your yearly check-up is overdue, this is a great time to make that appointment. Take care of your health men!