June 12-18, leading up to Fathers Day, is Men’s Health Week. Men’s Health Week is a time to discuss preventable health problems and early detection of health issues in men and boys. 
While most people think that self-checks may only be pertinent for women performing regular breast self-exams, men can also do self-exams to catch some health problems early. Monthly self-checks for men include testicular exams, skin checks (for changing moles or freckles which may indicate skin cancer), oral lesions, and breast checks [1.1]—while less than 1% of all breast cancer cases are found in men, male breast cancer does still exist, and will affect 1 in 1000 men.  In the cases of melanoma or other types of skin cancers, testicular cancer, or male breast cancer, early detection saves lives. As well, regular checks for colon and prostate cancer can also help to catch cancers early.
While men are often more resistant to going to the doctor than women are, it is equally important to check in with your doctor for a check-up! While tests like rectal exams for colon and prostate cancers may be uncomfortable, they’re no less important than having your blood pressure checked! Most uncomfortable tests will be done in a matter of minutes, and will give you peace of mind that you are healthy, or have a plan underway to manage the situation. A fifteen to thirty minute check up and maybe a few blood tests and an EKG (heart test) could save you hours or days of future medical intervention—think of it as an investment!
As well, men may be more resistant to wearing medical ID jewelry than women. While some may opt for a tattoo, a subtle medical alert tattoo may be easily missed by first responders in an emergency. Our medical ID bracelets and necklaces are made of stainless steel, and can also come on sports bands to prevent them getting caught on anything. With colors from subtle to bold, there is truly something for everyone, including our popular dog tag style necklaces. Medical ID is important for anyone with chronic disease, including heart disease, on blood thinners, diabetes, asthma, food allergies, epilepsy, and more—even athletes, such as road cyclists and runners—should wear sports medical ID just in case!
With Fathers Day this weekend, maybe it’s time to discuss health with the important men in your life—dads, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, and sons—and underscore the importance of preventative care. After all, if men are talking about it—man-to-man—they normalize the conversation and stamp out the misperceptions men may have about receiving both preventative and reactive medical care, and set course for a healthier future for boys as they grow up. Health checks don’t end when you outgrow the pediatrician!
Happy Men’s Health Week—and Happy Father’s Day this Sunday! (And remember, if you’re still short a gift, we’ve got some ideas for you on the blog.)