The leading cause of death for men is not a specific disease but an attitude of independence and maybe a little stubbornness. Okay a whole lot of stubbornness! The same attitude that prevents us from using a map prevents us from establishing a solid practice of ongoing health monitoring. What is somewhat disturbing is that for the most part the leading causes of early death for men are usually preventable and treatable once found. Let’s look at the leading causes of death for men.
The occurrence of heart disease in men increases with age with the first heart attack occurring around the age of 65. Besides age other causative factors that cannot be changed include family history and gender. However other causative factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, physical inactivity, and being overweight can be influenced by good life choices and routine physical examinations. A simple exercise routine matched with annual check-ups can go a long ways in reducing the change of heart disease.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in men. Lung cancer is the leading killer of men and women and prostate cancer in the most commonly found cancer in men. The use of tobacco is still considered the leading cause of lung cancer along with personal history, second hand smoke and air pollution. There will be over 200,000 cases of lung cancer diagnosed this year and 160,000 plus deaths will occur. Medical examinations and smoking cessation are the most effect means of detecting lung cancer and reversing the potential of developing lung cancer.
The cause of prostate cancer is unclear thus preventative measures are difficult to identify. Race and high fat diets are considered two common risk factors for prostate cancer. However it is important to know that this cancer can spread throughout the body before symptoms occur. Thus the significance of a routine PSA blood test and digital rectal exams when indicated cannot be overemphasized. By the way 35 percent of prostate cancer is found in men under the age of 65 so establishing routine blood work at or around the age of 50 is not a bad idea.
More than six million men will be diagnosed with depression this year alone. Again, this particular medical problem is compounded by the man’s need to meet society’s expectation of “manning up” when things get a bit tough. If you are experiencing unusual anger, aggression, “burn out”, the increased use of alcohol, or risk-taking behavior you may be suffering with depression. Take the time to find a counselor or someone to talk to. Most businesses these days will have an employee assistance program that will provides a confidential and efficient means to discuss effective methods of handing stress or other emotional or behavioral issues.
Bottom line, men, is that we may be our own worst enemies when it comes to taking care of ourselves. A little bit of exercise, a little better diet and routine physicals are simple to commit to and will pay huge dividends in the future. To your health.