Some of the men in our lives are notorious for not taking care of themselves. Even many TV dads, husbands, brothers and friends are portrayed as big, lovable dudes who would rather watch the game than check out the latest health trend. And quite a few sitcom plotlines have not-so-subtly tackled the delicate subject of guys’ feelings about prostate exams and colonoscopies.
But getting the proper preventive screenings is no laughing matter.
A national Healthy Men advertising campaign by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Ad Council are trying to show men the hard-hitting facts about the importance of preventive medicine screenings.
“Men have delusions of adequacy when it comes to monitoring their bodies and need to be more conscious of healthy living and knowing their numbers,” campaign spokesman Dr. Mehmet Oz said. “Part of our responsibility as fathers and husbands is keeping ourselves healthy, and it should be a family effort to gently nudge all men to map out steps to do the right thing.”
According to the Ad Council, the Healthy Men advertisements, which appear across a variety of media, focus on the impact men have on their families and the importance of being there for loved ones in years to come.
“We hope this campaign will inform men about the importance of prevention and show them that they should work with their health care providers to find out what they should do to stay healthy,” agency Director Dr. Carolyn M. Clancy was quoted as saying in a 2008 news release when the campaign began.
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, men are 24 percent less likely than women to have visited their physician in the past year. They also are more likely than women to be hospitalized for congestive heart failure, pneumonia that could have been prevented through immunization and long-term diabetes complications.
The agency’s Healthy Men campaign website, www.ahrq.gov/healthymen/, recommends that men talk with their doctors about tobacco use, getting tested to determine their body mass index, cholesterol, blood pressure and risks for cardiovascular disease, colorectal and other cancers, sexually transmitted diseases, depression, abdominal aortic aneurysm and diabetes. The site also offers a quiz, tips for preparing for medical appointments and conversations with physicians and staying healthy at any age.
“We know from our research that being there for your family is one of the strongest motivating factors for men when it comes to preventive medical testing,” Ad Council President and CEO Peggy Conlon was quoted as saying in a 2010 news release. “We are proud to continue working with AHRQ to raise awareness of these critical messages.”
Scotland health officials also see the month of June as a good time to remind fathers and any other fellas in your life about the importance of taking care of their health.
Scotland Health Care System and urologist Dr. Timothy Moses are offering free cholesterol, prostate cancer, and blood pressure screenings this Saturday and next as part of the annual Men’s Health Event. The prostate cancer screenings include a digital rectal exam. The screenings begin at 8 a.m. on june 11 and 18.
Results will be available on June 30 from 5:30 to 6 p.m. at the Men’s Health Event. The actual event, which will be held at the WR Dulin Conference Center, begins at 5 p.m. A physician panel is expected to offer important health information regarding general health, cancer, cardiac, and urological issues. A buffet dinner will be provided as well. The event is free through funding by the Scotland Memorial Foundation. Registration can be made by calling 291-7550.
MCT contributed to this article