Confronting 3 Major Threats to Men’s Health

Hey guys, we know you’re out there living your best life as fathers, brothers, husbands and professionals. But there may be things you’ve been putting off about your health—like getting your head, heart and even backside checked out—that could make your life even better. Let’s get into it.

Backside

If you’re nearing the half-century goalpost, it may be time to chat with your family doctor about getting your prostate specific antigens (PSA) levels tested. The PSA is a simple blood test your doctor can order that measures the health of your prostate.

Know your risk factors: black men are at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer. The Nova Scotia Health Authority asks black men, and all those who have a brother, father or son diagnosed with prostate cancer, to talk with their doctor about their prostate as early as 40 years old, and look at the risks and benefits of early testing.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among those born with a prostate. The good news is that early detection saves lives. Detected early, the survival rate for prostate cancer is almost 100% after five years. Detected late, it drops to 28%. According to Prostate Cancer Canada, the PSA test is the best way to detect prostate cancer early. That’s why it’s important to understand the benefits, risks and timing of getting tested.

Heart

You put a lot of strain on your ticker over the course of a lifetime, so it’s key to be good to your heart so it can be good to you.

Although heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Canada, you can eliminate the risk up to 80% by making healthy lifestyle choices. Isn’t now the time to be proactive? Controllable risk factors are the usual suspects: diet, exercise, stress, smoking and excessive drinking.

If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, you may be at an increased risk for developing heart disease. But here’s the good news: with healthy behaviours, you can delay the onset of heart disease or stroke by as much as 14 years.

Head

As a society, we’ve been wrestling with the stigma of mental illness and the vulnerability of seeking help. That’s especially true for men, who are taught to just tough it out, and may suffer alone instead of reaching out for help. The Mental Health Foundation of Canada calls men’s mental health a silent crisis, a sleeper issue.

Men’s symptoms of depression may show up differently than women’s. According to The National Institute of Men’s Health, when men are depressed, they’re more likely to appear angry, frustrated and aggressive. To the uninformed eye, it might not look like depression.

Seeking help isn’t a sign of weakness. There’s strength in vulnerability. And, with a little help, you can start to feel like yourself again. Chat with your family doctor about your situation and what you can do to get back on track. If you or someone you know are in crisis now, call the Mental Health Crisis Line .

Commit to your health in 2020

You can curtail many health issues when you include regular checkups, nutrition and exercise in your routine. It’s really up to you – set yourself up for success by taking the time to make your health a priority this year.

 

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