Men: Staying healthy should be a year-round priority

“Yeah, yeah. Don’t worry. I’ll take care of it.”

All too often, that’s the response of men when an important health concern is brought up.

Unfortunately, statistics show that women are 100% more likely to see a doctor for preventative exams than men.

To help combat this cavalier approach to health, we’re reminding men that June is Men’s Health Month. It’s time to stop avoiding potential health concerns until they absolutely can’t be avoided any more.

June is a perfect time to get serious about making some changes to your health. It’s easier than you think. That test or screening you’ve been avoiding: get it done. Haven’t been in for a physical in a few years? Don’t wait any longer. Haven’t darkened the door at the gym?

It’s more important than you think.

Especially in eastern North Carolina, where we see high rates across many health indicators.

For example:
• 37% of men in eastern North Carolina have high cholesterol, compared to 12% nationally
• 28% of men in eastern North Carolina are current smokers, compared to 20% nationally
• 1,478 eastern North Carolina men have died from prostate cancer in the past five years.

There is plenty that we can do to curb these alarming rates. Eating right and exercise can help lower cholesterol. Quitting smoking is tough, but can dramatically improve your overall health while lowering the risk of multiple cancers. (If you’re trying to quit, click here for information and resources.) And, the risks of prostate cancer can be mitigated if you get screened starting at age 50.

At the ECU Brody School of Medicine, our mission is to improve the health of every one in eastern North Carolina and we offer plenty of clinical resources for men looking to improve their health.

So, as Men’s Health Month draws to a close, man up, follow through and get serious about improving your health. In doing so, you could be saving your own life.
– Al Delia, Director Office of Health Access
Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University