June is Men's Health Month, and as such it is dedicated to bringing awareness to the leading illnesses and health conditions that affect young boys and men across the nation. With greater awareness of these conditions and early detection when possible, men of all ages can live healthier, happier, and more productive lives.
The Top Health Conditions Affecting Men in the United States
There are several diseases that negatively impact the health and quality of life of men across the nation. The following is a brief breakdown of the most common health issues affecting the male population.
Except for skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer among men. It is estimated that over 160,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year in the US, and out of those diagnosed, there are over 26,000 deaths from the cancer annually.
Unlike other cancers affecting internal organs, prostate cancer can often be detected early by a physical exam or a blood test performed by a physician. This makes awareness of the disease and early detection of its presence of prime importance.
Cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes, is still the leading cause of death and disability for men in America.
There are many health conditions that can alert a physician that a man is at a higher risk of developing heart disease or suffering from a heart attack or stroke. One of the most common precipitating factors is having a history of high blood pressure or high cholesterol. When a patient has persistent high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels, their doctor can take steps to help them lower their levels to a more appropriate range, reducing their risk of potentially fatal heart attacks and strokes. Regular check-ups are needed to assess each patient's risk factors for the development of cardiovascular diseases.
One in four men will experience some degree of sexual dysfunction prior to the age of 65. Erectile dysfunction is a common complaint that can disrupt the lifestyle of men and create issues in their romantic partnerships.
Low testosterone levels and other hormonal disturbances can also negatively impact sex drive and stamina. Since some of these issues can be precursors for even more serious health issues, such as the development of heart disease, it is imperative for men to report these symptoms to a physician and receive adequate testing and appropriate treatment.
The Goal of Men's Health Month
These are just a few of the health issues affecting men across the country each year. The primary goal of Men's Health Month is to provide policy makers, physicians, the media, and the general population with the resources needed to encourage men of all ages to have regular health assessments. This will allow for the prevention of many of these conditions altogether, as well as the early detection and prompt treatment of existing problems.