Proactive health readiness key to Men's Health month

by Kathryn Gifford
health.mil

As Men’s Health Month continues through June, the focus is on preventative care. Preventive care means getting annual checkups and seeking care right away when you notice symptoms to increase the chances of an early diagnosis and successful treatment. According to Army Capt. Taccarra Linson, Army public health nurse at Landstuhl Army Medical Center (LRMC), "Preventive care guarantees a high quality of life."

Statistically speaking, men have higher rates of cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, chronic liver disease and suicide. "Men don't get care until later when later could essentially be too late," said Linson.

It is important for family members to encourage men to seek medical attention on a regular basis for routine visits and early treatment when they notice changes in their bodies or with their mental health.

Prostate health

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men. However, when caught in the early stages, the recovery rate is 100%. Men should pay attention to changes in urine flow and frequency of urination. Changes occur naturally as men age and do not necessarily mean you have cancer. However, regular health checkups and seeking medical advice from your primary care provider early on is necessary for early detection and treatment.

Safe sex

"Twenty five percent of men and seventy five percent of women don't show signs or symptoms of gonorrhea or chlamydia," said Army Sgt. Talon Sipes, non-commissioned officer of public health nursing at LRMC. "However, they can pass it along to their partners and never know they had it in the first place. Bottom line, we encourage safe sex practices and the use of protection." Free condoms are available at the LRMC pharmacy and at the public health clinic in building 3705.

Physical fitness

Physical fitness certainly helps everyone stay healthy, but choose a program that works for you. Then, if you experience pain or discomfort, seek medical attention early on instead of waiting for the issue to get worse. "For example, back pain might just be a tight muscle; easily treated," said Linson. "But, if you wait and power through it, you may end up with a pinched nerve or worse."

Even workplace supervisors should get involved. "For the leaders, when you show concern for your soldiers, they take better care of themselves," said Linson. "Better to lose a soldier for an hour than for six weeks of convalescent leave. It really comes down to mission readiness."

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