Men of Portland: Make your health a priority

Wear blue to encourage longer, healthier lives for our brothers, sons, husbands, fathers and friends

The average man will live about five years less than a woman. While there are several factors at play, medical experts overwhelmingly agree that men face a shorter life expectancy due to a lack of self-care. That’s why each June is Men’s Health Month – a time when routine preventive healthcare is strongly encouraged.

You may be surprised at some of the statistics regarding men’s health:

Men are less likely to screen for treatable illness

Many of the diseases attributed to early death in men are treatable, making early detection and prevention habits incredibly important. Even though one in two men is diagnosed with cancer in his lifetime, men are half as likely to visit a general practitioner for routine screenings.

Prostate cancer is the second-most-common cancer for men in the United States

One in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. When caught in the early stages, prostate cancer is treatable and has a high survival rate.

African American men are twice as likely to suffer a stroke as white men

African American men are also more likely to die from a stroke. Hispanic men are also at a higher risk. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of a stroke greatly increases the chances of survival.

One in three men suffers from a cardiovascular disease in his lifetime

One in four Portland men will die from a cardiovascular disease (any heart-related condition) or complication. While some men are genetically at a higher risk for heart disease, lifestyle changes can reduce this risk.

Testicular cancer is known as a young and middle-aged disease

Unlike prostate cancer, testicular cancer is less common, with only 1 out of every 250 people diagnosed. The survival rate is quite high, especially when detected in the early stages, underscoring the importance of preventive care.

Depression is underdiagnosed in men; men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women

Men over the age of 85 have the highest suicide rate of any demographic in the United States. It’s important to check in with your loved ones about their mental health and to recognize the signs of depression.

Masculine gender socialization

Behavioral scientists theorize that masculine gender socialization may play a huge role in the difference in life expectancy between men and women. Certain cultural traits seen in men are associated with fewer doctor visits and higher rates of injury and disease. These traits include: emotional suppression, aggression and risk-taking. The combination of these factors can lead to poor health behaviors and less frequent use of healthcare resources.

Seeing blue

Each June on the Friday during Men’s Health Week is Wear Blue Day, a campaign to raise awareness and show support for the health and well-being of men and boys. By participating in Wear Blue Day, you’re supporting the larger year-round Wear Blue campaign, created by the Men’s Health Network to encourage men to value their health and live longer, healthier lives.

There are countless reasons why it’s important to encourage the men in your life to schedule annual exams and seek out medical advice when necessary. We are available to patients, providing preventive screenings and tailored treatment options for men, women and children of all ages.