RAHC Reminds Men To Make Health A Priority

The Rockbridge Area Health Center is recognizing Men’s Health Month during the month of June by reminding all men, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak and those with underlying health conditions, to make their health a priority.

The average man pays less attention to his health than the average woman, according to data from the Harvard Medical School. Compared to women, men are more likely to make risky choices and not see a medical provider for regular check-ups. Two of the biggest concerns of men’s health are cardiac risk and prostate cancer.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States, which is approximately 1 in every 4 male deaths. Half of the men who die suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms, making blood pressure one of the most important health screenings. Unhealthy BP levels greatly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke and cannot be detected without being measured.

Maintaining healthy blood pressure levels, knowing if you’re at risk of diabetes, monitoring your cholesterol, not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol consumption and keeping stress levels low are all important to maintain a healthy heart.

”Knowing the signs of heart attacks and having routine preventative exams and health screenings are critical for lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. John Sheridan, RAHC physician.

Diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and depression can affect anyone, but men can also have unique medical conditions such as prostate cancer and prostate enlargement.

Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths among men in the U.S. About 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, making it one of the most common cancers in men. There may be no signs of symptoms in its early stages and when detected early — when it’s still confined to the prostate gland — there is a better chance of successful treatment.

One of the best ways to detect prostate cancer is through screenings and it is advised that men consider getting tested from age 50. Men with significant risk factors may require screenings from age 40–45.

“Regular health exams and screenings can help find problems in the early stages. The earlier diseases are diagnosed, the more likely they can be the cured or successfully managed,” added Sheridan. “Annual wellness visits are essential to maintaining good health.”

RAHC’s family health physicians and providers offer a full-spectrum of health care services to men in all stages of life, regardless of insurance status or income.

For more information about RAHC’s medical, dental, or behavioral health care services, call 464-8700 or visit rockahc.org.

The News-Gazette

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