Do you know what the top health risks are for men? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading causes of death among men in the U.S. include heart disease, stroke, cancer and respiratory diseases. How can you reduce men’s health risks? Learn about common health problems facing men and how to prevent them. For example, TRICARE covers preventative services to help men of all ages get and stay healthy.
Identify Potential Health Concerns
Men and women share many of the same health concerns, but there are certain conditions that predominately affect men. Examples include colon cancer, skin cancer, high blood pressure, obesity and heart disease. It’s important to learn about these conditions in addition to the health conditions that are unique to men, such as prostate and testicular cancers.
“Take the opportunity to put your health first today,” said Dr. James Black, Medical Director for the Clinical Support Division at the Defense Health Agency. “Knowing the signs and symptoms of common conditions can help let you know if you need to speak to a medical provider and may even save your life.”
Your primary care manager (PCM) can also help you identify potential health concerns and assess your risk for developing certain health problems. If you don’t have a primary care manager, find a PCM on the TRICARE website. You can also set up your appointment online.
Get Screened Regularly
Women are 100 percent more likely to visit the doctor for annual exams and preventive services than men. However, TRICARE offers men several preventative services, such as cancer screenings, lab tests and immunizations. Your PCM can help you decide what tests you need based on your age and risk factors. Important health screening tests for men include:
- Blood Pressure Screening
- Cardiovascular Screening
- Colorectal Cancer Exam
- Prostate Cancer Exams
- Skin Cancer Exams
- Testicular Cancer Exams
Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Although men seek regular medical care less often than women, they’re more likely to smoke, drink and choose unhealthy or risky behavior. The more committed you are to choosing healthy lifestyle choices, the easier it is to maintain your health. Consider making the following choices to help you live a long and healthy life:
- Avoid smoking: Smoking can cause conditions such as heart disease and cancer. TRICARE provides resources to help you quit tobacco, such as toll-free quit lines, counseling, and tobacco-cessation medications. Also, UCanQuit2 provides useful tips and tools.
- Limit alcohol: Drinking too much can contribute to poor health. Visit the TRICARE Alcohol Awareness page for information about alcohol and drinking responsibly.
- Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly: Eating healthy and being physically active can help prevent a variety of health problems. Learn about the benefits of healthy living and how you can improve your overall health.
Knowledge of men’s health issues, regular health screenings and leading a healthy lifestyle is only half the challenge of maintaining your health. Taking steps to improve your health and reduce your risk for disease is just as important. Visit the TRICARE website today to learn more and get started.