The top 5 health concerns for men
The risk of being diagnosed with the biggest killer illnesses is significantly decreased with early intervention. So what should men look out for?
If you’d rather eat glass than visit your family GP, Dr Ginni Mansberg wants you to reconsider.
“I think men tend to avoid visiting a doctor because they’re worried their going to be judged, but they need to know we’re here to help,” says Dr Mansberg.
“And in the cases of most of our serious illnesses and diseases, many could have been prevented by seeing us a little more often.”
This Men’s Health Week (June 10-16), here’s what you need to know to skirt the “big five”.
In most cases cardiovascular disease is avoidable, says Dr Mansberg.
“You can help yourself by sticking to a healthy BMI (body mass index), stopping smoking and getting your cholesterol and blood pressure checked regularly – ideally from the age of 40 for most men, but earlier if they are overweight,” she says.
Think a paunch is nothing to worry about?
The number of Australian men continues to increase and carries the risk of arthritis, asthma and cardiovascular disease.
“Losing as little as 5 per cent of your body fat can pay dividends when it comes to your health,” says Dr Mansberg.
According to the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, prostate cancer is now the most common cancer diagnosed in men.
Men now have a one in five risk of developing prostate cancer before the age of 85.
Reduce the amount of fat in your diet and boost your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Between 1982 and 2010, melanoma diagnoses increased by around 60 per cent, with the cancer most common in young men aged 15 to 39.
“Sunscreen isn’t just for the beach,” reminds Dr Mansberg.
“Even if you’re a truck driver, you should be applying it to every part of your body exposed to sunlight.”
- Related: How to check your body for melanoma
Men make up an average six out of every eight suicides each day in Australia – figures that have long been linked to an inability or unwillingness to disclose issues.
“Compared with women, men often struggle to talk openly and it’s a problem that can become compounded if you self-medicate with alcohol or other drugs,” says Dr Mansberg.
Make an appointment with your GP to chat, or call Lifeline on 131 114.
- Related: How to help someone who is not OK
Written by Dilvin Yasa.