June is Men's Health Month

by GregP_WN

Men’s Health Month was created through a resolution by Senator Bob Dole in 1994. Many of the reasons that prompted Men’s Health Month are still men’s health issues. Let’s look at men’s health facts:

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 In the U.S., male life expectancy is 76.3 years compared to female life expectancy of 81.4 years. A shorter male lifespan is seen throughout the world.
 1 in every 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer .
Testicular cancer is a young man’s disease, with most diagnoses in men between the ages of 20 and 39.
 Men have a higher level of alcohol consumption and are more likely to binge drink. Recent studies show that 23% of men report binge drinking 5 times a month, averaging 8 drinks per binge. Almost twice as many men are alcoholics as women.
 Men visit doctors less often than women.

Why do men have shorter lifespans?

It’s is a complex question, and there are many reasons. Let’s look at the interesting facts.
105 boy babies are born, on average, for every 100 girl babies. Evolution seems to play a role in more male babies being born — boy babies are more susceptible to birth complications and are more prone to infectious diseases.

June Is Mens Health Month

By age 35, the number of women and men is roughly equal. But as the years pass, the ratio of women to men begins to grow. Why?

 Men take bigger risks, partly because of a biological difference. The frontal lobe (responsible for judgment and considering consequences) develops more slowly in boys and young men.
 Military service can lead to death or lifelong health issues from a serious injury. Men are killed in combat; men are exposed to dangerous chemicals that can potentially cause cancer later in life. Combat injuries that lead to leg amputations that put these men at risk for life-threatening complications in later life.
 Dangerous occupations contribute to shorter life spans. Firefighters are more prone to lung cancer than non-firefighters. Miners, construction workers, and farmers face many occupational hazards.
 Males are more prone to die of heart disease and at an earlier age. Estrogen appears to be a protective factor against heart disease for women.
 Men are more likely to commit suicide.
 Men often avoid doctors, skipping recommended screenings like screening for prostate cancer and diabetes.
 Men are less likely to have health insurance.

There’s no one answer. A look at the Social Security actuary tables is fascinating.

Yet many of these risks that place men at risk are modifiable. Don’t assume that you’ll die before your wife just because of the statistics. Wear a helmet while riding your motorcycle. Wear a life preserver when you’re out on your boat. Have regular physical exams and screenings.

What are the cancer risks for men?

In some ways, men and women are alike. Our reproductive parts seem to be a particular risk for developing cancer. Let’s look at some facts.

 Prostate cancer. One in every nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in the U.S. Over 191,000 men, most over the age of 60, are diagnosed with prostate cancer. Survival rates are high — only one in every 39 men with prostate cancer die from the disease. There are over 3 million prostate cancer survivors in the U.S. Symptoms include frequent urination, weak urine flow, blood in the urine or semen, or new onset of erectile dysfunction. Be sure to schedule an appointment if these symptoms persist for two weeks. African-American men have a 60% higher rate of prostate cancer and are 150% more likely to die of prostate cancer. Follow your doctor’s recommendations for screenings, including whether you should have PSA testing.
 Testicular cancer. About 9,600 men will receive a diagnosis of testicular cancer this year in the U.S. About 2/3 of cases occur in men under the age of 40. Many men discover testicular cancer while in the shower. Survival rates are very high when detected early.
 Penile cancer. About 2,200 men in the U.S. are diagnosed with penile cancer each year. Penile cancer is uncommon and represents less than 1% of cancers diagnosed in men. Symptoms include lesions or sores, thickening of the skin, a smelly discharge beneath the foreskin, or bumps and rashes around the foreskin.

75%Of Bladder Cancer Occurs In Men (1)

Other types of cancer occur more often in men. They include:

 Bladder. Men are four times more likely to develop bladder cancer than women.
 Liver. Liver cancer is three times more likely to occur in men than in women. The number of liver cancer cases has been rising by about 2% a year since 1980.
 Lung. Lung cancer occurs more frequently in men, mostly because of a larger percentage of men who smoke than women. Lung cancer accounts for over twice as many deaths than prostate cancer.
 Melanoma. By age 65, men are twice as likely to develop melanoma as women.
 Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. Just over 60% of CLL occur in older men.

The Bottom Line

Men’s health risks are different, and we need to be aware of what we can do to ensure that we don’t die prematurely.

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Male premature deaths have a devastating effect on the aging population in the U.S.

 By age 35, women outnumber men.
 Over 9 million people in the U.S. live alone — 80% are women.
 Over half of the elderly widows living in poverty were not poor before the death of their husbands.
 Women over 100 outnumber men over 100 by 8-to-1.

Take care of yourself so that you can help take care of your loved ones.

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