There are many roles men play in our lives. Chances are you have at least one of them in yours. But talking about health issues with him (no matter who you are) may present a challenge.
According to a 2019 study by the Cleveland Clinic, you aren’t alone. As AARP’s Healthy Living reported, 50 percent of men in the Baby Boomer generation “won’t discuss health with their male friends because they ‘don’t feel it’s any of their business,’” and a quarter of them don’t talk about private topics with anyone. Younger generations are a bit more forthcoming, but nearly half of Millennials and 56 percent of Gen Xers surveyed indicated they lacked more than one person with whom they could talk about their health.
Since positive conversation about health matters can be an important part of men’s overall well-being, during Men’s Health Month, we want to provide you with advice about how to do it well.
Arm Them With Information
Young women may be encouraged to have annual visits with a primary doctor or OBGYN starting in their puberty years, but it’s not always so with men. This could mean there are simply things men don’t know about their own health maintenance.
- Adults as young as 20 should begin getting lipid panel testing to monitor their cholesterol levels, and continue getting tested every four to six years.
- Men ages 18 to 39 should have their blood pressure checked every two years, switching to yearly checks if it reaches a certain threshold.
- Diabetes screening should happen for adults 40 – 70 years old every three years, but sooner and more frequently if they are overweight.
- Men without a family history of colon cancer or polyps should be screened for colorectal cancer every five to ten years between the ages of 50 to 75.
- Second to skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men. Fortunately, with early diagnosis from a prostate cancer screening, the 5-year survival rate of prostate cancer is nearly 100%.
- If caught early enough, testicular cancer is almost always curable with proper treatment. And a self-exam is how most cases are detected early.
Keep It Positive and Encouraging
Fear, discomfort, embarrassment, and uncertainty may be part of why a man won’t visit the doctor. Keeping your conversations positive, caring, and judgment-free will help.
Remind him, as Glenn Good (an expert on masculinity and the psychology of men at the University of Florida) told Huffpost in 2016, that “A truly strong, healthy person embraces routine health care, health consultation and daily healthy habits to truly protect his body, not just his own self-image.”
Help him remember too that good friends (and relatives, and partners) only want to support him in what’s best for his longevity — whether he’s struggling physically or mentally.
Show Him He’s Not Alone
Healthiness loves company, so become his partner in total wellness. Appointment-making, transport, and follow-ups can be a part of everyone’s household upkeep — including his.
Whatever check-ups, tests, or answers to questions are needed, LifeBrite Community Hospital of Stokes is here to provide high-quality care. We offer a wide range of services, including Radiology, Surgical, Family Practice, and Acute Care, and look forward to caring for him (and you).
Learn more about LifeBrite
Atlanta-based LifeBrite, led by CEO Christian Fletcher, operates LifeBrite Community Hospital of Early, LifeBrite Community Hospital of Stokes, and Lifebrite Laboratories. To learn more about our services and facilities, visit our website or call 229-723-4241.