You may see a lot of mustaches this season—and for good reason! Growing a mustache is a way to boost awareness for men’s health concerns, such as mental health and certain cancers. It also encourages male-identifying individuals to stay up to date on their wellness. Whether you can grow a mustache or have to pencil one on, you can support and celebrate men’s health during “Movember”!
Understanding risk factors
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 13.2 percent of men age 18 and over are in fair or poor health1. Risk factors such as obesity, lack of physical activity, alcohol consumption and tobacco use play a role in declining health among this population. Prostate and testicular cancers also contribute heavily to male death rates, along with preventable diseases, like heart disease.
So, you may be wondering what you, or the men in your life, can do to stay healthy. When it comes to prevention and health maintenance, your health care benefits are an excellent tool! Utilizing health benefits—like regular primary care visits and age-related screenings—helps with understanding risk factors and catching serious conditions early on.
Age-related screenings for men focus mainly on prevention of testicular and prostate cancers. These can begin as early as age 40, depending on level of risk. Some common screenings include:
- Digital rectal exam (DRE)—a manual examination of the prostate gland, checking for any abnormalities.
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test—a blood draw to check the level of prostate-specific antigen in the body.
- Testicular cancer screening—a manual examination to check for abnormalities. This exam isn’t age-specific and is performed at annual exams. Doctors often encourage men to perform self-checks, as well.
Risk factors for these two types of cancers include family history, age and race. Additionally, some minority groups may experience higher cancer rates and an increased mortality rate. Although thinking about the possibility of cancer or other diseases may be scary, being proactive about your health and wellness is the best preventive measure you can take.
Using wellness benefits
Meritain Health® is proud to offer comprehensive benefits, wellness programs, and other tools and resources for better well-being.
Whether you’re quitting smoking, on a path to weight loss or simply need reminders to schedule your routine exams, we’re here to help.
This year’s Movember may be coming to a close, but it’s never too late to recognize and celebrate men’s health awareness!