ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – June is Men’s Health Month which is observed each year to raise awareness about health care, healthy living, and cancer screening guidelines. American Cancer Society Health Systems Manager, Ali Vavruska discusses Men’s Health Month and the positives the public can take from it.
There are three things that can be committed to in order to live a healthy lifestyle which are good nutrition, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight. It is estimated that around 20% of all cancers diagnosed in the United States are related to body weight, physical inactivity, excess alcohol consumption, and/or poor nutrition which can all be prevented.
If you are trying to control your weight, watch portion sizes, especially foods that are high in calories, sugars, and fat. Also try to limit your intake of high-calorie foods and drinks, alcohol, red and processed meats.
“A good rule of thumb when you’re trying to make a plate of food is the more colorful it is, the healthier it is, so add in fruits, veggies, lean meats, avocado, healthy oils, so that you have a balanced diet,” said Vavruska. It is recommended that adults should work toward at least 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week or an equivalent combination throughout the week.
That’s about 20 minutes a day of moderate intensity exercise. Moderate activity includes walking briskly, jogging, tennis, bicycling, and dancing.
It is important to designate a primary care physician. Young men may not think about it when they are healthy, however, when you start to have health issues, it can be a struggle to find a doctor.
The American Cancer Society states that preventing cancer is easier than treating it. Some prevention tips include staying away from tobacco as smoking causes one in five deaths in the U.S. and is associated with at least 11 types of cancer.
Also, limit your exposure to ultraviolet light. To do this, make sure that when you are going outside, try to stay in the shade and when that is not possible, wear a shirt, put on a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least 30 SPF, and put on sunglasses.
Some cancers that most often affect men are prostate, colorectal, and skin cancers. Knowing about these forms of cancers and what you can do to help prevent them or find them early may help save your life.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women and is a leading cause of cancer in the United States. Early stages of the cancer typically have no symptoms however, warning signs include rectal bleeding, blood in the stool, a change in bowel habits, or abdomen cramping. The American Cancer Society recommends men begin colorectal cancer screening at the age of 45 and talk with your doctor about earlier screening if you have a family history.
Except for skin cancers, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. The chance of getting prostate cancer increases as men age.