June is Men’s Health Awareness Month

So, why should we celebrate Men’s Health Month in June?

After all, what makes men any different than women when it comes to paying attention to their health?

For starters, many men largely ignore their health – and those that see their physician are often pushed by a female relative. Studies have shown that women are 100 percent more likely to visit the doctor for annual examinations and preventive services than men.

Fifty-five percent of men have not seen their primary-care physician for a physical exam within the past year. Nearly one in five men ages 55 or older has never had a colonoscopy. About one in three says they “wait as long as possible” before seeing a doctor when they are sick, in pain or concerned about their health.

This may be why men die at higher rates than women from the top 10 causes of death and are the victims of over 92 percent of workplace deaths. On average, men today die almost five years earlier than women (when 100 years ago, women lived just one year longer on average).  They are nearly 40 percent more likely to die of heart disease, nearly 30 percent more likely to die of cancer, and twice as likely to die from injuries. And, they are four times more likely to die from suicide (as depression in men is far more likely to go undiagnosed).

Then there are issues that are specific to men.

More than 30 million men suffer from prostate conditions that negatively affect their quality of life. For example:

  • Over 50 percent of men in their 60s and as many as 90 percent in their 70s or older have symptoms of an enlarged prostate (called BPH).
  • Each year over 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and about 30,000 will die of it.
  • Prostatitis is an issue for men of all ages, and it affects 35 percent of men 50 and older.

The bottom line: Men’s Health Month is a good time to make sure the man in your life sees a doctor – and continues to see a doctor moving forward on a regular basis.