June is Men’s Health Month

Men’s Health Month increases the awareness of preventable health problems and encourages early detection and treatment of disease among males. According to MensHealthMonth.org, this is a time for health care providers, policy makers, the media, and individuals to encourage men to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have tips  to help men live healthier lives and prevent disease. A report from Men’s Health Network suggests that men make nearly half as many visits to their physician for preventative care, yet they have nearly twice the risk of ischemic heart disease and other major illnesses. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality offers a pamphlet with suggested screening for men to stay healthy at any age.

Research into diseases like cancer and heart disease has increased life expectancy for men and women. However, diseases like prostate cancer continue to claim thousands of lives in the U.S. each year. The American Cancer Society estimates that one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime and one in 36 men will die of prostate cancer. Improvements in screening and treatment of prostate cancer have significantly reduced the number of deaths per year, thanks to medical and health research efforts. However, effective screening and early detection of cancer and other diseases can only happen with routine medical care.  This Father’s Day, Dads can give a gift back to their families by getting a check up with their doctor and taking proactive measures to stay healthy!

Federally funded research has helped increase our understanding of risk factors for prostate cancer and led to new treatment interventions. Unfortunately, funding for research supported by the National Cancer Institute has decreased from $300 million in FY10 to $196 million in FY12. Budget cuts to biomedical and health research under a decade of sequestration will further impair much-needed research on prostate cancer and other illnesses.

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