According to the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation, men are 40% more likely to die from cancer, 70% more likely to die from heart disease and live an average of 9 years of their lives in extremely poor health. 70% of men’s health problems can be prevented by adopting a healthier lifestyle. In addition to physical disease, mental health issues are common among men with suicide ranking the seventh leading cause of death.
Men are often more likely than women to participate in behavior that puts their health at risk, including smoking, eating less than the recommended daily intake of whole fruits and vegetables, and drinking more than the recommended daily limit of alcohol, for example.
About 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer to affect Canadian men. For men diagnosed with prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 29%. Recently, new guidelines from Prostate Cancer Canada empower Canadian men to take a more active role in monitoring their number on cancer risk.
Men are also more likely to develop high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer than women and are more likely than women to become dependent on alcohol. However, on average, men seek medical advice 20% less frequently than women and are thus more likely to let symptoms or early stage risk factors go untreated for longer periods of time. Basically, men are more likely to need medical advice, but less likely to seek it. That is called the “Superman” effect. Because of the stereotype of the strong and invulnerable male, like Superman, men do not take care of themselves, and would rather suffer in silence than consult a doctor. If there is no extreme urgency, then they prefer not to show any weakness.
At Medisys, during your annual preventive health assessment, we look at your current health status and risk factors as well as your family history. You complete tests and get adviceon men’s health issues such as erectile dysfunction, libido concerns, etc. We also collaborate across our team of diet and exercise professionals to assess diet and exercise because many health issues can be mitigated with regular exercise and a proper diet.
Put your health first, book a preventive health assessment with Medisys.
Below are the three most common men’s cancers:
Prostate Cancer: The leading cancers in men are prostate, lung and colon cancer. A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is one of the tests used to help identify prostate cancer early, before it grows or spreads to other areas of the body. Finding cancer early can mean that treatments will be more successful. A PSA test measures the amount of PSA in the blood. PSA is a protein made by prostate cells. It is mostly found in semen, but small amounts of PSA can also be found in the blood of healthy men. A PSA test is often used together with a digital rectal exam (DRE) to increase the chance of finding prostate cancer early, when it is easier to treat. Using these tests together is better than using either test alone.
Lung Cancer: Smoking (whether current or past) is linked to between 80% and 90% of lung cancer cases. Unlike alcohol - which is considered safe if consumed in moderation, when it comes to smoking, there is no safe amount. Not even one cigarette a day, or a casual cigarette on a Saturday night. Using other tobacco products such as cigars or pipes also increases the risk for lung cancer. Early detection can be achieved through physical exams and lung function tests or CT scans.
Colon Cancer: Colon cancer risk can be determined by looking at family history and using screening tests such as a colonoscopy. One way to test for colorectal cancer is to look for hidden blood in stool. The idea behind this test is that blood vessels in larger colorectal polyps or cancers are often fragile and easily damaged by the passage of stool. The damaged vessels usually bleed into the colon, but only rarely is there enough bleeding for blood to be seen in the stool.
Small changes can make a big difference:
- If you smoke, stop smoking. There is no safe amount.
- Ramp up physical activity. Men should get a minimum of 2-3 hours of exercise per week. Here are some tips.
- Eat a colourful variety of vegetables and whole fruit every day. Limit refined sugar, processed food, and alcohol.
- Sleep 7 to 9 hours per night. Easier said than done, we know. But don’t underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep.
- Make your own lunch, rely less on fast food. When you do eat out, make smart choices.
- Control your stress level.
- Finally, see a doctor for regular preventive health assessments.
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