“Recognizing and preventing men’s health problems is not just a man’s issue. Because of its impact on wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters, (fathers, brothers and sons), men’s health is truly a family issue.” Congressman Bill Richardson (Congressional Record, H3905-H3906, May 24, 1994).
When you get a preventive medical test, you’re not just doing it for yourself. You’re doing it for your family and loved ones:
. Men are 24 percent less likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year and are 22 percent more likely to have neglected their cholesterol tests.
. Men are 28 percent more likely than women to be hospitalized for congestive heart failure.
. Men are 32 percent more likely than women to be hospitalized for long-term complications of diabetes and are more than twice as likely than women to have a leg or foot amputated due to complications related to diabetes.
. Men are 24 percent more likely than women to be hospitalized for pneumonia that could have been prevented by getting an immunization.
. The single most important way you can take care of yourself and those you love is to actively take part in your health care. Educate yourself on health care and participate in decisions with your doctor.
You can make healthy choices every day.
Take Steps to Good Health
Be physically active and make healthy food choices. Learn how at http://www.healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/nutrition-and-physical-activity.
Get to a healthy weight and stay there. Balance the calories you take in from food and drink with the calories you burn off by your activities.
Be tobacco free. For tips on how to quit, go to http://www.smokefree.gov. To talk to someone about how to quit, call the National Quitline: 1-800-QUITNOW (784-8669).
If you drink alcohol, have no more than two drinks per day if you are 65 or younger. If you are older than 65, have no more than one drink a day. A standard drink is one 12-ounce bottle of beer or wine cooler, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.
HERE IS A CHECKLIST OF MEDICAL TESTS MEN SHOULD HAVE AND WHEN:
PHYSICAL EXAMS – EVERY 3 YEARS FOR MEN UNDER 40 AND EVERY YEAR FOR MEN OVER 50
BLOOD PRESSURE – EVERY YEAR
TB SKIN TEST – EVERY 5 YEARS
BLOOD TESTS & URINALYSIS – EVERY 3 YEARS FOR MEN UNDER 40 AND EVERY YEAR FOR MEN OVER 50
EKG – BASELINE AT AGE 30 AND EVERY YEAR FOR MEN OVER 50
RECTAL EXAM – EVERY YEAR FOR MEN OF ALL AGES
PSA BLOOD TEST – (prostate screening) – EVERY YEAR FOR MEN OVER 50
HEMOCCULT – (stool screening for signs of blood) – EVERY YEAR FOR MEN OF ALL AGES
COLORECTAL HEALTH – EVERY 3-4 YEARS FOR MEN OVER 40
SELF EXAMS – LOOK FOR ABNORMAL LUMPS AND CHANGES IN MOLES OR FRECKLES – MONTHLY FOR MEN OF ALL AGES
(Information from www.menshealthmonth.org)