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The longstanding stereotype that men don’t go to the doctor is proving to be true even today. Men are supposed to be tough and full of machismo, but that line of thinking is putting millions of men at risk. On average, men die half a decade earlier than women.

Wear Blue Day is Designed to Get Men to Go to The Doctor

Friday, June 14

Man sitting with doctor

The longstanding stereotype that men don’t go to the doctor is proving to be true even today. Men are supposed to be tough and full of machismo, but that line of thinking is putting millions of men at risk. On average, men die half a decade earlier than women.

INTEGRIS started a program called Men’s Health University 15 years ago as a way to reach out to men and their families on the importance of taking charge of their own health. The program includes health screenings at local sports events, free wellness fairs, seminars and events aimed at minority groups.

Steve Petty, who is the administrative director of community health at INTEGRIS, said that 67 percent of men who had blood tests in 2018 were found to have abnormal blood pressure while 40 percent had abnormal blood sugar levels.

“By bringing men back into the health care system, we can help them overcome one of their biggest health risks — that of just being a man,” said Petty.

Wear BLUE Day

Man Stretching

Numerous campaigns are trying to get men to be more proactive in their health. For instance, this Friday, June 14 is Wear BLUE Day.

It’s a program designed by the Men’s Health Network to raise awareness of men’s health issues. Men’s Health Network is a national non-profit with the mission to reach men and their families where they live, work, play and pray with health prevention messages and tools, screening programs, educational materials, advocacy opportunities and patient navigation.

"Man up" and get screened
Annual screenings and tests are some of the most important things a man can do for his overall health because screenings find diseases early when they are easier to treat.

Prostate exam
Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer for American men, second only to skin cancer. Annual screenings can catch the disease early when treatments are more effective. The American Cancer Society suggests men should begin discussions and tests at age 50 for the average-risk male, age 45 for high-risk men, and age 40 for African Americans and men with a family history of prostate cancer.

Blood pressure screening
Men should have their systolic and diastolic pressure checked regularly to check for pre-hypertension or high blood pressure, which is a leading cause of stroke and heart issues.

Testicular cancer exam
The American Cancer Society recommends all men have a testicular exam when they see a doctor for a routine physical. Additional screenings may be needed if a man has a family history of testicular cancer or an undescended testicle.

Colorectal exam
Average adults (including women) should have colorectal screenings beginning at age 50, but men have a slightly higher risk of developing colon or rectal cancer than women.

Skin cancer screening
Men are three times more likely to get non-melanoma basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers than women, and older men are more likely than women of the same age to develop the deadly melanoma skin cancer.

Cholesterol level test
High cholesterol could lead to heart disease, stroke and diabetes. A fasting blood lipid panel is a common blood test that checks the levels of total cholesterol, LDL "bad" cholesterol, HDL "good" cholesterol and triglycerides (blood fat). Men need regular cholesterol testing at age 35, though those with a higher risk factor should begin testing at age 20.

Diabetes test
Starting at age 45, healthy men should begin diabetes screenings every three years using a fasting blood sugar test, glucose tolerance test or an AIC. Testing may begin earlier if you have a higher risk, including high cholesterol or blood pressure.

Glaucoma test
Eye tests for glaucoma are based on age and personal risk, but men under the age of 40 should be tested every 2-4 years. Men ages 40 to 64 should be tested every 1-3 years, while men over the age of 65 should be tested every 6-12 months.

By offering a multitude of men’s health resources at INTEGRIS, we challenge all men to take control of their health and make their appointment for an annual check-up. Visit our Men’s Health University page to get started.