June is Men’s Health Month across the country, and is meant to bring awareness to the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, detecting problems early so that they can be treated, and increasing longevity (men, on average, still live approximately six years less than women).
With better screening, several predominantly male-related health problems, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and colon cancer can be greatly reduced.
Men’s Health Week is celebrated during the week leading up to and including Father’s Day (this year, June 10 to 16). That’s no accident, given that the people who make most health decisions for men are the women who love them. So, part of the awareness campaign is certainly designed to encourage participation by loved ones, who can help by supporting and reinforcing better lifestyle choices on the part of the men in their lives.
The first year that Men’s Health Week was declared, Congressman Bill Richardson (Congressional Record, H3905-H3906, May 24, 1994) said, “Recognizing and preventing men’s health problems is not just a man’s issue. Because of its impact on wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters, men’s health is truly a family issue.”
The Men’s Health Network is operating a social media campaign in conjunction with its other activities, and there are some wonderful, easy-to-adopt suggestions that it wants men to take heed of. For example, the network is asking people to post messages such as this to their Facebook pages: “Man up and take charge of your health! Eat healthy. Get moving. Schedule a doctor’s appointment. Make prevention your priority.”
We all know men who avoid those doctor’s appointments. Maybe they would reconsider if they found a message on their timeline from a loving daughter, or a concerned wife, along with an “I love you” for Father’s Day.