In the 1920s, women outlived men an average of one year. Today’s numbers show that the average has risen to women outliving men by more than five years. So what gives? While the women in our lives tend to be very giving, there is one thing they often do for themselves that men don’t.
They go to the doctor.
I can’t even count the number of times a man in my life (be it a colleague, brother, dad, or boyfriend) has expressed some sort of ache or pain only to be told, usually by other men, “walk it off,” “you’re fine,” or the ever helpful “rub some dirt in it.” Or, they will bring the issue to me, and I suggest “maybe you should get that checked out,” only to receive the response, “nah I’ll be fine.”
But what about when you’re not fine?
There’s a reason that the whole month of June is dedicated as Men’s Health Month. Here are the top 5 killers in America, and men are above women in every category for being at risk for the following:
- Heart Disease
- Prostate Cancer
- Lung Cancer
The real kicker is, the early signs and symptoms for many of these conditions (like prostate cancer) are either mild or non-existent, which is why these conditions are not usually caught until later and often much deadlier stages. Or, someone you know might be struggling with severe depression and not feel the freedom to share that with anyone.
So, how do we fix this? The simple answer: go to your doctor, even if you don’t feel like it. Honestly answer questions on that mental health screening, even if it feels vulnerable.
Because while doing these things might not feel convenient right now, it will greatly reduce your risk for these health issues in the future. Many of which are avoidable or easily treated. It will mean the world to your loved ones. I know because when the dads, brothers and other men in my life take better care of themselves, that means I get to have them around longer.
And that, my dear fathers, is the best Father’s Day present a daughter like me could ever ask for.
About the Author – Afton Neufeld: Afton is the Marketing and PR Manager for a local community health center, Community Health Alliance (CHA). CHA provides all primary medical, dental and integrated behavioral health services to the whole family, and primarily serves Medicaid, Medicare and uninsured populations. She is also a proud Daddy’s Girl who is fairly convinced her dad is superman (and still reminds him go to all his checkups).