Men’s Health Week is a public health awareness campaign celebrated the week before Father’s Day. This year (2017), it will take place on the 13th to 19th of June. The campaign is organized by the Men’s Health Forum (MHF) which is an independent charity organization that aims to bring into spotlight the different health issues of men. MHF was formed in 1994 for the purpose of focusing on different health problems of men and seeing what can be done to make a difference.
Purpose of Men’s Health Week
The main goal of Men’s Health Week is to improve awareness of the different preventable health problems that affect men. Also, it is for encouraging early detection and treatment of diseases among males of any age. The public health and awareness campaign gives health care professionals, policymakers, the media and other individuals an excellent opportunity to encourage men to seek medical advice and get checked up regularly in order to treat disease and injury early. There are various awareness activities across the United States and all over the world.
Top Health Threats to Men
There are more males than females born in the United States each year. Essentially, from infancy to old age, females are healthier than males. Out of the top leading causes of death, males lead females in all except Alzheimer’s disease which many males don’t live long enough to develop. According to Demetrius Porche, DNA, RN who is the editor in chief of the American Journal of Men’s Health, this is because males put their health last and most of them think that as long as they live up to their roles in society, then they are healthy.
Here are the top threats to men’s health which are actually preventable:
The prostate becomes prone to problems as a man ages. Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men. Almost 200,000 men develop prostate cancer each year in the United States alone. The good news is that this type of cancer grows slowly and it is unlikely to spread. Talk to your physician if you are a candidate for prostate cancer screening.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading men’s health threat. It is also called atherosclerosis which means “hardening or arteries”. Heart disease and stroke are the two leading causes of death worldwide in both males and females. It is a big global public health problem but the United States has some of the highest rates. In cardiovascular disease, the arteries in the heart and brain are gradually blocked by plaque. If it becomes unstable, blood clots can form and eventually lead to a heart attack or stroke. Lifestyle changes like eating a healthy and well-balanced diet combined with regular exercise can help reduce risk of cardiovascular disease.
Lung cancer is a scary disease; it is aggressive, ugly and in most cases metastatic. It spreads early even before it grows large enough to cause symptoms and usually doesn’t even show up on an X-ray. By the time it is discovered, lung cancer is usually advanced and hard to cure. Less than half of male patients are still alive one year after. Take note that tobacco and smoking are the cause of about 90% of all lung cancers, so you can significantly cut your risk by not smoking.
What You Can Do
- Use social media to spread the word about Men’s Health Week.
- Ask your local officials to declare the public health and awareness campaign in your area.
- Produce men’s health brochures and give away to the public to help increase awareness of the different health risks of men.
- Organize a fundraising event for organizations that promote men’s health.
- Ask your local television/radio station to make a public service announcement about Men’s Health Week.
- Host a community health fair in your area.
- Encourage high-risk men to get checked up.
- Contact your television/radio station to create a show with a Q & A section regarding men’s health.
- Host a men’s health conference in your area.
- Organize a free prostate cancer screening for men who are at risk.
- Distribute flyers with vital information about men’s health.
- Work with organizations to host a health and wellness expo focusing on men’s health.
Message of Men’s Health Week
There is a lot of evidence that men are simply unhealthier than women at any age. This is because most men are not very concerned with their health and often skip medical check-ups even though they don’t feel well. Men’s Health Week is for raising awareness of the different health risks that affect men. It is also for informing men about how they can become healthier and cut their risk of common health problems.