ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - June is Men's Health Month. Although men have a higher mortality rate for heart disease, diabetes and cancer, men are less likely to go to a doctor than women.
Dr. Carter Fenton of Total Access Care Chesterfield shares the top five health threats to men.
- Cardiovascular Disease
One in five men and women will die from cardiovascular disease. For unclear reasons, though, men's arteries develop atherosclerosis earlier than women's.
Even in adolescence, girls' arteries look healthier than boys'. Experts believe women's naturally higher levels of good cholesterol are partly responsible. Men have to work harder to reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke.
- Lung Cancer
Lung cancer spreads early, usually before it grows large enough to cause symptoms or even show up on an x-ray. By the time it's found, lung cancer is often advanced and difficult to cure. Less than half of men are alive a year later.
Tobacco smoke causes 90% of all lung cancers. Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in men: more than enough to fill the Superdome every year. Quitting smoking at any age reduces the risk for lung cancer.
- Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men other than Skin cancer. Close to 200,000 men will develop prostate cancer this year in the U.S.
While one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, only one in 35 will die from it.
- Depression and Suicide
Depression is an emotional disturbance that affects your whole body and overall health.
Those suffering from depression have brain chemicals and stress hormones that are out of balance. As a result, sleep, appetite and energy level are disturbed.
Men are less likely to seek help for depression than women.
Most men and women respond well to depression treatment with medications, therapy or both.
Usually diabetes begins slowly, without symptoms. Over years, blood sugar levels creep higher, and the excess glucose attacks blood vessels and nerves everywhere in the body. Heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney failure and amputations are the fallout for thousands of men.
A healthy, balanced diet and exercise can prevent type 2 diabetes. Weight loss and 30 minutes a day of physical activity reduced the chance of diabetes by more than 50 percent in men at high risk.