Taking care of your health is important, and that goes for everyone. June is National Men's Health Month, and to help you really lean into staying healthy, we made a list of five ways for you to do that.
5 things you can do for your health
1. Get screened & educated for testicular cancer.
Testicular cancer is a malignant cancer that occurs in the testicles. Although rare, this specific type of cancer mostly affects men between the ages of 15 and 35. And, it is the most common solid tumor in men between the ages of 18 and 40.
There are many precautionary steps that you can follow to protect yourself. You can schedule regular screening appointments with your doctor, and perform a testicular self-exam (TSE). If you haven't done one before, here's how to conduct an exam.
2. Get tested regularly for HIV.
Sexual health can be often overlooked, but it's still important. You should get tested and screened for HIV, especially if you are sexually active. We recommend that everyone at least get a test done once in their life as well as recommend going through regular HIV screenings if you have one or more of these risks listed below:
- Men who have sex with other men
- Having unprotected sex
- Having multiple sex partners
- Anyone who has sex with a sex worker
- Anyone who shares needles for injecting drugs
- Anyone who exchanges sex for drugs, money, or a place to stay
- Anyone who has a sexually transmitted infection
- Anyone who has had or currently has a sexual partner with any of the above risk behaviors
- Anyone who has a partner infected with HIV
3. Have an STI screening.
Every year, there are an estimated 20 million new STD infections in the United States. It is critical to not only your health, but also to the health of others. Many STDs don't have symptoms, but they can still cause health problems. All sexually active gay, bisexual, men who have sex with men, and other men who have multiple partners should be screened more frequently for STIs. This means at least in 3 to 6 month intervals. Talk to your medical provider about getting tested.
4. Schedule a physical.
Not a fan of the doctor's? Several studies suggest men are less likely to go to the doctor's, and even resistant to seeking medical help. However, we can't stress enough how important preventative care and routine physicals are. Physicals help you maintain track of your health and spot any potential health concerns. If you haven't had a physical before, speak to your medical provider about scheduling one.
5. Wear your sunscreen!
Although we're still practicing social distancing, many folks are beginning to spend more time outdoors. And with summer in full swing, it's important that you're using sunscreen. Men are two to three times more likely to get non-melanoma basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers than women. Melanoma - the most dangerous form of skin cancer accounts for 48,000 deaths per year and is on the rise in people ages 20 to 40. So make sure you're applying sunscreen whenever you're heading outside. And, if you notice any irregular spots, moles, or patterns on your skin be sure to get them examined by your medical provider.