So, a man walks into a doctor’s office. The doctor asks him what the trouble is.
“Doc,” he says. “I think I’m a dog.”
The doctor replies: “Sit down and we’ll talk about it.”
“I can’t,” the patient says. “I’m not allowed on the couch!”
It’s an old joke, but one thing hasn’t changed: the improbability that a man would even be willing to visit his doctor.
According to the Center For Disease Control, women are 33 percent more likely than men to see a doctor. Perhaps not coincidentally, by the way, women outlive men by about five years.
Men’s Health Week is June 9-15, and it is the perfect time for men to commit to a healthier lifestyle and stop avoiding their doctors.
Certain diseases and conditions may not have symptoms, which means checkups are imperative in order to diagnose potential issues before they can become a problem.
The following are some of the most common health problems which men need to keep one step ahead of.
Heart disease is the leading killer of both men and women. One out of every 4 men has some form of heart disease. In addition to looking at your family history, risk factors include smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Although stroke ranks third among causes of death in the United States, up to half of all strokes are preventable. Even if you survive a stroke, it’s still the leading cause of serious long-term disability. Risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking and excessive alcohol use can be controlled before they cause problems.
Lung Cancer and Prostate Cancer
The leading cancer that kills men, even more than prostate and colon cancer combined. Smoking causes 90 percent of all lung cancer.
Prostate cancer often causes no symptoms, which increases the need for regular screening. Recently, the New York Times reported on a study which found that early chemotherapy extends the lives of men with prostate cancer and may alter approach to future treatments. The American Cancer Society recommends that men be examined starting at age 50 and older.
About 26 million children and adults in the United States suffer from diabetes. The risk factors for adult-onset diabetes include being overweight, living a sedentary lifestyle, poor eating habits, and having a family history of the disease. In the absence of such risks, testing should begin after age 45.
More than 6 million men in the United States have at least one episode of major depression each year. Men in the United States are four times more likely to commit suicide than women. Depression is treatable through medication and talk therapy, but only if we bring awareness to the disease and end stigma surrounding the symptoms.
This unwelcome occurrence in men has a variety of causes, not all of which are harmful. According to the National Institute of Health, failure to achieve an erection more than 50% of the time generally indicates illnesses such as diabetes, kidney disease or prostate cancer. Other culprits include tobacco, alcohol or drug use. If you experience symptoms only 20 percent of the time, unfortunately, that’s probably normal.