Men, Check Yourselves!
The Focus for June is Men's Health
1 Corinthians 6:19
June is Men’s Health Month, a national observance used to raise awareness about health care for men and focus on encouraging boys, men and their families to take control of their health, practice and implement healthy living decisions, such as exercising, eating healthy and teaching young boys’ healthy habits throughout childhood.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die 5 years earlier than women and die at higher rates from the three leading causes of death, heart disease, cancer and unintentional injuries.
The Office of Minority Health (OMH) also observe Wear Blue Day on Friday, June 19, created by Men’s Health Network to raise awareness about the importance of male health and to encourage men to live longer and healthier lives.
Men and boys can improve their health by seeking medical advice and taking other important steps, such as making healthy food choices, staying active, quitting smoking, getting regular checkups and taking care of their mental health.
"In the past few years, I buried my father and eldest brother both from Prostate Cancer. My brother did not heed the warning. He thought he was ok because he was very active and in good health. He did not discuss our family history with his doctor or have the doctor examine him. Three years later, his wife noticed that he was getting up frequently during the night to use the bathroom, only then did he agree to the PSA blood test. But it was too late! His cancer had spread outside his prostate into his stomach, and throughout his body. Other male family members have reported abnormal prostate antigen (PSA) scores. As your Director of Health, I am passionate to have every MVBC male know their family health history and if at risk, get early screening!"
What is the Prostate?
The Prostate is a part of the male reproductive system which includes the penis, prostate, seminal vesicles, and testicles. The prostate is located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It is about the size of a walnut and surrounds the urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder). It produces fluid that makes up a part of semen.
As a man ages, the prostate tends to increase in size. This can cause the urethra to narrow and decrease urine flow. This is called benign prostatic hyperplasia
(or enlarged prostate), it is not the same as prostate cancer. Men may also have other prostate changes that are not cancer.
Benign Prostate Hyperplasia or BPH (enlarged prostate) is the most common prostate problem in men over the age of fifty. It is a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate that blocks the flow of urine and increases the need to urinate.
The prostate begins to grow at the age of twenty-five
Half of men over the age of sixty (60) will have developed an enlarged prostate and by eighty-five (85) the risk increases to ninety percent (American Urological Association)
Black Men Are more likely to get prostate cancer than other men.
Are more than twice as likely to die from prostate cancer
Get prostate cancer at a younger age and tend to have more advanced disease – when discovered
Tend to have a more severe type of prostate cancer
Have familial history of prostate cance
Different people have different symptoms for prostate cancer. Some men do not have symptoms at all. If you have any of the following symptoms, be sure to see your doctor right away!
Difficulty starting urination.
Weak or interrupted flow of urine.
Frequent urination especially at night.
Difficulty emptying the bladder completely.
Pain or burning during urination.
Blood in the urine or semen.
Pain in the back, hips, or pelvis that doesn’t go away.
Keep in mind that these symptoms may be caused by conditions other than prostate cancer.
Screening is Recommended for:
Men who are 55 to 69 years old, who should make individual decisions about being screened for prostate cancer with a Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) and prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test.
Digital rectal examination (DRE) is when a health care provider inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into a man’s rectum to feel the prostate for anything abnormal.
Earlier screening is recommended for men with a family (genetic) history of prostate cancer
Before deciding, men should talk to their doctor about the benefits and harms of screening for prostate cancer, including the benefits and harms of other tests and treatment.
Men who are 70 years old and older should not be screened for prostate cancer routinely. A biopsy is the only way to know if an abnormal test is due to cancer
Know your family's health history
Please take the time to talk with your family about prostate cancer and make an appointment to discuss screening with your healthcare provider/
My Brothers -Check Yourselves!
What Is Prostate Cancer? | CDC
Men’s Health Month - The Office of Minority Health (hhs.gov)
HEALTH TIPS for men about prostate cancer: What you can do (cdc.gov)
Cancer and African Americans - The Office of Minority Health (hhs.gov)
Dr. Colleen Kilgore
Ph.D., MPH, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC
MVBC Director of Health Ministry