Men – Steps Toward Living Longer

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

                      SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Damon T. Arnold, Illinois

                      Department of Public Health Director and a prostate

                      cancer survivor, is urging men throughout the state

                      to recognize the importance of a healthy lifestyle,

                      regular exercise and medical check-ups.  In an effort

                      to raise awareness about issues affecting men’s

                      health, including heart disease, diabetes, prostate,

                      testicular and colon cancer, Men's Health Week is

                      celebrated each year during the week leading up to

                      and including Father's Day.  The goal is to raise

                      awareness of preventable health problems and

                      encourage early detection and treatment of disease

                      among men and boys.

                      “Men’s Health Week is a great reminder to all men

                      that they need to take their health seriously.  Men

                      today face many health and wellness issues, and it’s

                      important they take the time to visit their doctors

                      for a checkup,” said Dr. Arnold. “The outcome of

                      prostate cancer, as well as many other health

                      conditions, depends on early detection and treatment.

                      That’s why it is important for men and their families

                      to be aware of available screening options and other

                      necessary information.”

                      Dr. Arnold reminds men that along with regular

                      screenings and checkups, men should eat healthy

                      foods, exercise regularly, reduce stress, keep

                      alcohol consumption to moderate levels and reduce or

                      stop using tobacco.

                      According to the National Center for Health

                      Statistics:

                      • On average, men in the U.S. live an average of five

                      years less than women.

                      • The death rate from heart disease in men is

                      approximately 1.4 times higher than for women.

                      • Men are more likely to have undiagnosed diabetes

                      than women, and are more likely to die from diabetes

                      than women.

                      • The cancer incidence rate is higher for men than

                      women.

                      • The most recent statistics show men had higher

                      death rates than women in 13 out of 15 leading causes

                      of death.

                      Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer

                      death in American men, behind only lung cancer.

                      Prostate cancer accounts for about 11 percent of

                      cancer-related deaths in men.  Prostate cancer is the

                      most common cancer, other than skin cancers, in

                      American men.  The Illinois State Cancer Registry

                      estimates approximately 9,850 new cases of prostate

                      cancer will be diagnosed in Illinois during 2011 and

                      an estimated 1,330 Illinois men will die from it.

                      Men should talk with their health care provider about

                      prostate cancer screening and testing and what is

                      appropriate for them.

                      Screening tests men should ask their health care

                      provider about include:

                      • Obesity:  Have your body mass index (BMI)

                      calculated to screen for obesity.

                      • High cholesterol:  Have your cholesterol checked

                      regularly starting at age 35.

                      • High blood pressure:  Have your blood pressure

                      checked at least every two years.

                      • Colorectal Cancer:  Have a test for colorectal

                      cancer starting at age 50.

                      • Diabetes:  Have a test for diabetes if you have

                      high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

                      Dr. Arnold recommends all men actively take part in

                      their health, starting with talking to a health care

                      provider.

                      Steps men can take toward being healthy and living

                      longer include:

                      • Be physically active.  Try walking, swimming or

                      bicycling.

                      • Eat a healthy diet.  Emphasize fruits, vegetables,

                      whole grains and lean meats.

                      • Stay at a healthy weight.  Balance food calories

                      with calories you burn from activity.

                      • Don’t smoke.  Call the Illinois Tobacco Quitline:

                      1-866-QUIT-YES.

                      • Develop a relationship with your doctor.

                      • Know your family history.  Be aware of family

                      disease history and conditions.