Of cancers affecting both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States. Although it’s important to keep your man’s health in mind year-round, June is an appropriate time to focus on men’s health and shine a spotlight on the importance of cancer screening. If you’re 50 years old or older, getting a screening test for colorectal, or colon, cancer could find precancerous polyps before they turn into cancer.
Even though men on average die younger than women and have higher mortality rates for heart disease, cancer, stroke and AIDS, trying to get a man to a doctor can be harder than pulling teeth, according to Newswise. For many men the time it takes to see a doctor can feel like a waste of time. Still, Newswise reports going to the doctor is one of the best things a man can do for his family. “A man may feel selfish or weak going to the doctor or caring for his health, but it makes a positive impact on the whole family. Kids look to their parents for examples of how to live, so lead by example,” said Timothy Vavra, Loyola University Health system physician and associate professor of internal medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.
Talk show host Dr. Oz appeared on the cover of Time magazine this month sharing lessons he learned from a cancer scare. He procrastinated and didn’t follow his doctor’s advice, and had to undergo the uncomfortable screening two times in nine months. The bottom line? A colonoscopy can save your life if a polyp is removed before it becomes cancerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of deaths from colorectal cancer could be avoided if people over 50 were screened as recommended.