Men’s Health Month encourages men to pay attention to health issues

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 8:19 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - June is “Men’s Health Month.” The month is dedicated to enriching health and wellness for men.

The goal of “Men’s Health Month” is to increase awareness of health issues in men so they, and those around them, can better recognize those issues and stay healthy.

Dr. Jeffry Pirofsky with Baptist Health says life can get busy, so men can sometimes forget to get checked out.

“I think number one, life is so busy between home and work, you just have to find the time to take care of yourself, and sometimes you just find yourself putting things aside,” Pirofsky said. “Because other things are more important. If you believe that at one point in time. And until unfortunately, a health issue arises, you kind of take everything for granted. And that is not something that you really need to be doing.”

Among the most threatening conditions and diseases for men, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in American men. According to the CDC, out of every 100 American men, about 13 will get prostate cancer during their lifetime.

“We have seen many patients in our practice when they just come for a routine screening colonoscopy without any symptoms, and we find cancer and sometimes that cancers are more progressive. And maybe the lifespan would be very shortly after that point on,” Baptist’s gastroenterologist Dr. Pranav Patel explained. “Up until now, the recommendation was to do the screening colonoscopy at age 50. But recently, the American Cancer Society has recommended that we should start a regular or routine screening colonoscopy at age 45.”

Prostate Cancer is more likely to develop in older men and in black men. About one in 10 cases diagnosed are men who are 64 or older.

Another one of the biggest diseases threatening men is colon cancer. About one in every 23 men is at risk of developing colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths among men and women combined. It’s expected to cause nearly 53,000 deaths just in the year 2021.

“Any man over the age of 50 really should be coming in to have the conversation to screen for prostate cancer. And men who have a family history of prostate cancer or family history of breast cancer should really come in at the age of 40 to start having that conversation,” said Dr. Travis Dum, a urologist with Baptist Health. “With prostate cancer, there aren’t really a lot of signs or symptoms, and that’s the challenge. That’s why we recommend screening, which consists of a simple blood test called a PSA. But other signs and symptoms that could represent a bladder issue or prostate issue. Or burning when you urinate, blood in your urine, difficulty urinating. Those are concerns, and you should come see us.”

Men’s Health Month has been observed since 1994.

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