Most men are more comfortable talking about their golf game than their health. But is your health up to par? Or does it prevent you from doing the summer activities that you love? June is National Men’s Health Awareness Month, and the perfect time to be the most valuable player in your health care routine.
Adena Health System wants to remind men about the importance of getting screened for colon, prostate and lung cancers. These are the three most common cancers treated at the Adena Cancer Center, and knowing what you can do to help prevent them could save your life.
Colon cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable. So, why is it still the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States? Typically, people are afraid, embarrassed or anxious about the test prep, and avoid testing, which if found early, can be treated successfully. The number one way to prevent colon cancer is to have a colonoscopy.
During this test, the doctor will examine your colon. He or she is looking for signs of cancer and small growths (polyps) that can become cancerous over time. These polyps can be removed during the test before they turn into cancer.
Men with a personal or family history of colon cancer, or those with risk factors can be more likely to have this cancer.High-risk factors include: being overweight; eating a diet mostly of high-fat foods; smoking; and being inactive. People with normal risk factors should have their first colonoscopy at age 50. Those with family history or high risk factors are encouraged to work with their primary care provider in deciding when to have their first screening.
Prostate cancer is the second leading type of cancer in men treated at the Adena Cancer Center. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in U.S. men.
Men who are older, African American, or have a family history of prostate cancer are at greater risk of developing the disease. If you notice symptoms be sure to talk to your doctor immediately. Symptoms for prostate cancer can include: trouble urinating; erectile dysfunction; pain in the lower back, hips or thighs; and blood in the urine or semen.
Even without symptoms, men between the ages of 40 and 75 should talk with their provider about prostate cancer screening.
Compared with men who have never smoked, men who smoke are 23 times more likely to develop lung cancer.Additionally, the rate of death by lung cancer for people in Ross County is higher than the lung cancer death rate for the state of Ohio, and startlingly 44 percent higher than the U.S. rate of death due to lung cancer.
Never smoking or quitting smoking have been proven to reduce the incidence of lung cancer. But the greatest chance to survive lung cancer is by catching it early. This can be accomplished with a simple lung cancer screening.
Adena Health System offers free lung cancer screening. This program has become a national model for excellence. Since it began in Nov. 2014, more than 55 people have been diagnosed with lung cancer. The no-cost lung cancer screening is a simple, painless, low dose, non-invasive CT scan. The test easily identifies tumors or lesions that may need medical attention.
Those eligible for the free screening are: between 55-74 years old; have 30 or more “pack years” of smoking in their past (a pack year=1 pack a day for 30 years, 2 packs a day for 15 years, 3 packs a day for 10 years, etc.); a current smoker or someone who has quit smoking in the past 15 years.Men in this group are recommended to have a lung screen each year for the greatest chance of survival in the event of a lung cancer diagnosis.
To learn more about these or other men’s health screenings, visit adena.org/cancer or call 740-542-3030.