New Decade, New Focus on Men’s Health

Gerry Patrizio, president and owner of Assisting Hands Home Care and Stephen Hoelle, RN-BC, director of nursing, wear blue in recognition of Men’s Health Awareness.

EDITOR’S NOTE: June is Men’s Health Month and the week before Father’s Day is recognized as Men’s Health Week. The Men’s Health Network (MHN), a national non-profit organization whose mission is to reach men, boys, and their families where they live, work, play, and pray with health awareness and disease prevention messages and tools, screening programs, educational materials, advocacy opportunities, and patient navigation, has provided this blog about its mission to improve men’s health. Caregivers should be aware of issues that could affect the men they are caring for. 

 

This year, Men’s Health Network (MHN) has decided to focus on the theme of a new decade. With a new decade comes the opportunity to both lookback and look forward. This time for both reflection and prospection gives us all a unique occasion to evaluate how we have been dealing with our health, both physical and mental. Men, especially, should take this time to do just that.

In general, men are less likely to take care of themselves and their health than women (Brott). MHN adviser, Armin Brott, states, “Men are half as likely to visit the doctor for a check-up as women are, and there are over 7 million American men who have not seen a doctor in over 10 years.” In addition, a Cleveland Clinic survey in 2019 found that 82% of men report trying to stay healthy and live longer for those who rely on them, yet only 50% engage in preventive care. Men cited embarrassment, lack of convenience, not wanting to hear a bad diagnosis, and being told as children not to complain about medical problems as reasons for pushing off a visit to their health care provider (Wheeler, 2019).

Courtesy of Men’s Health Network

Partly as a result of dedicating less time to their personal health, male life expectancy is about 5 years less than women (Brott). Now, in2020 and the new decade, it is time for that to change. Men of every age need to be taking the time to focus on their mental and physical well-being. From 19 to 90, even if he is in “perfect” shape, a man should still be making routine appointments with his providers.

There are several times in his life a man should be getting routine appointments with his health care provider to ensure that he is maintaining good health. Men are not invincible and should be engaging with their providers on a regular basis. Regular check-ups and appointments mean taking responsibility for your health and well-being and being a real man.

To coincide with the new decade and renewed responsibility for health, especially in the time of Coronavirus, here’s a breakdown of each decade of a man’s life, and when he should be getting certain check-ups with his healthcare provider:

20s:

  • Every year – a physical exam, blood pressure analysis, blood test & urine analysis, rectal exam, STD testing, self-performed testicular exam
  • Every 5 years – TB skin test Every 10 years – Tetanus booster

30s:

  • Every year – a physical exam, blood pressure analysis, blood test & urine analysis, rectal exam, STD testing, self-performed testicular exam, electrocardiogram (EKG) for heart abnormalities
  • Every 5 years – TB skin test Every 10 years – Tetanus booster

40s:

  • Every year – a physical exam, blood pressure analysis, blood test & urine analysis, rectal exam, STD testing, self-performed testicular exam, electrocardiogram (EKG) for heart abnormalities, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening, hemoccult test
  • Every 5 years – TB skin test Every 10 years – Tetanus booster
  • With physician’s discretion – chest x-ray, testosterone screening

50+:

  • Every year – a physical exam, blood pressure analysis, blood test & urine analysis, rectal exam, STD testing, self-performed testicular exam, electrocardiogram (EKG) for heart abnormalities, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening, hemoccult test
  • Every 5 years – TB skin test Every 10 years – Tetanus booster
  • With physician’s discretion – chest x-ray, testosterone screening, bone density screening

During Men’s Health Month, it is important to emphasize the importance of each of these screenings and check-ups. Each and everyone is necessary for maintaining good health and being aware of your body. A brochure including this information and more can be found on the Men’s Health Network website and MensHealthMonth.org. This decade, let’s decide to dedicate more time and focus on our health.

Sources:

Brott, A., & Men’s Health Network Advisory Board. (n.d.). Blueprint for Men’s Health: A Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle. Washington, D.C.: Men’s Health Network.

Wheeler, T. (2019, September 5). Cleveland Clinic Survey: Men will do Almost Anything to Avoid Going to the doctor. Retrieved April 16, 2020, from https://newsroom.clevelandclinic.org/2019/09/04/cleveland- clinic-survey-men-will-do- almost-anything-to-avoid-going-to-the-doctor/

 

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