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Five Health Issues Men Need to be Aware Of

Men have real, unique health concerns. Here are five health issues that men in particular need to be aware of – and common-sense tips on how to stay healthy.

Cardiovascular disease

There are over 1.3 million Canadians currently living with some form of heart disease; it is the leading cause of death of both men and women in Canada. Smoking, weight, inactivity and high alcohol consumption are all contributing risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Following a diet with a moderate fat and sugar intake and exercising regularly can help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canadian men, with one in eight being diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime. A healthy, plant-focused diet that is low in fat and high in fruits and vegetables can help to lower the risk of prostate cancer; regular doctor visits can improve the chance of early detection. The survival rate has increased drastically due to improved testing and early detection of the disease; talk to your doctor about annual testing.

Lung cancer

Lung cancer will affect one in 12 Canadian men. In 2015 alone, an estimated 13,600 men were diagnosed with lung cancer – with over 80 per cent expected to die from the disease. Smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer, however, it’s not the only cause. Exposure to asbestos and other carcinogens, second-hand smoke exposure and family history are risk factors. To mitigate risk, avoid direct or indirect smoke exposure and know your family’s medical history.


Depression effects 11.3 per cent of Canadians. Without the visible or outwardly diagnosable symptoms of other diseases, detection of depression is as important as the treatment of the disease itself. While the exact cause of depression is unknown, environmental and biological factors play a part. Signs and symptoms include feelings of sadness or hopelessness, loss of interest in hobbies or sex and trouble concentrating – usually to the point of affecting one’s day-to-day well-being. Getting screened for depression is the most important step to take for diagnosis and treatment.


Diabetes affects 6.8 per cent of Canadians. While the risk of diabetes increases with age, 50 per cent of those living with diabetes are between the ages of 24 and 64 with the rates of occurrence slightly higher in men. Though the cause of Type 1 diabetes is unknown, Type 2 diabetes is typically caused by environmental factors. Being over the age of 40, being overweight and having high blood pressure are just a few of the contributing factors for Type 2 diabetes. Monitoring sugar consumption and weight, increasing fibre intake and exercising regularly are all effective ways to prevent diabetes.

Your turn: How do you stay healthy? Share your tips.

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