SCAN Club Issue 2 2024

Five Questions Important to a Man’s Health

If you’re a man looking to improve your health, you can start by answering these five questions.

Senior men stretch before jogging outdoors.

If you’re a man reading this who pays close attention to your health, you may be in the minority. Research shows that many men:

  • Don’t get regular physical exams
  • Wait as long as possible before going to see a doctor
  • Engage in unhealthy behaviors, including using alcohol and tobacco

It may not be surprising then that men are susceptible to many health problems—seriously so. In fact, men are more likely than women to die from eight out of 10 leading causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, strokes and diabetes.

What better time than Men’s Health Month to make changes to help beat these odds? If you’re a man looking to improve your health, you can start by answering these five questions honestly:

1. Am I moving enough and eating a healthy diet?

Regular physical activity and a wholesome diet of nutritious foods are some of the surest bets to achieve lower cholesterol, healthy blood pressure levels, improved mood and reduced stress. These changes can reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes and more! And don’t forget to drink water regularly; staying hydrated is important to overall prostate health and can potentially reduce symptoms of an enlarged prostate.

2. Do I smoke or use tobacco?

Smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in the body. If you smoke or use tobacco, giving up this hazardous habit will significantly lower your cancer risk. If you don’t smoke, try to steer clear of other people’s smoke.

3. How can I be less stressed out?

Ongoing stress can wreak havoc with a man’s physical and mental well-being. While few of us can avoid hard times completely (life is full of stressful situations, after all), being prepared with techniques to cope can help when stress does come knocking. Many men find stress relief in exercise, meditation or yoga, being outdoors or doing a hobby they enjoy.

4. Do I drink too much?

Drinking alcohol raises a man’s risk of getting five kinds of cancer, including liver cancer and colorectal cancer, as well as many heart conditions. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 recommends that if you drink alcohol have no more than two drinks a day. If beer is your drink of choice, consider trying one of the nonalcoholic beers available that might be to your taste—and better for your health.

5. Do I go to the doctor regularly and stay on top of recommended screenings?

Men are at risk for several types of cancer, including prostate, colon and lung cancers. Don’t be a stranger to your doctor. Go in for regular checkups. Stay current with recommended screenings to help your doctors identify these cancers as early as possible. Many cancers are easier to treat successfully when they’re found early.

If you’re a man age 55 to 69, talk with your doctor about whether prostate cancer screening is right for you.

Pay attention to your mental health, too: If you’re noticing signs of depression, don’t be embarrassed or afraid to seek help.

If you have don’t have a Medicare Advantage plan, look at the comprehensive coverage, award-winning service, and extensive network of caring physicians, offered by SCAN Health Plan.

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