One man at a time

by Mary Rains

Mille Lacs Health System

Men’s health may not be something thought about much while males are out fishing, golfing, camping and canoeing this summer. But it’s the perfect time to realize that those great outdoor activities can be taken for granted and, later, yearned for, if a health issue comes along to put a speed bump into a man’s life.

In June, Mille Lacs Health System celebrates men and boys by raising awareness of preventable health problems and encouraging early detection and treatment of those problems.

Healthier men live longer, happier lives, and are there for their families and friends. Health concerns due to such things as cardiovascular, sexual and reproductive, prostate, aging, and mental health, may need attention at some point in a man’s life. Did you know that 30% of men experience depression at various times, yet one in four of them actually talk about it with someone?

The best way to make sure you get the attention you deserve is to make an appointment with your healthcare provider to have a conversation about any of those issues if you are concerned at all. Even if you think you are in perfect health, a yearly checkup will give you and your loved ones peace of mind.

If you’re still not convinced yet, consider these facts: Males have a life expectancy five years less than females. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, with over 160K new cases diagnosed each year. Men are four times as likely to commit suicide compared to females. Heart disease is the top killer among men.

Mille Lacs Health System urges men to take an active role in their health, pay attention to any problems, and above all, talk about health with a family practice provider. Regular screenings can catch many health problems at an early stage, when treatment is most likely to be successful. June is the month to think about how men taking care of themselves ultimately leads to stronger families and stronger communities, one man at a time.  Don’t like seeing a healthcare provider? You are not alone. But it’s time to “man up” and schedule your annual health evaluation. Set a healthy example for your kids and family and show them you care enough about them to take care of yourself.