Men’s Health Month – Creating Awareness, Resources, and Support

June being Men’s Health Month, provides us with the ideal opportunity to encourage our fathers, husbands, brothers, and sons, who often neglect their own health, to practice and implement healthy lifestyle choices.

The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of diseases including cancer, heart disease, and depression.

With research indicating that men die 5-years younger than women do, it is time to break the concerning narrative that if men take care of themselves or seek medical assistance, they are less masculine. Both men and women face unique barriers to health, however, society still tends to attach a stigma of weakness to men who opt to prioritise their health.

During Men’s Health Month, Glopin Healthcare Consultants joins the global movement to eliminate any negative connotations associated with men prioritising their health and wellness. Chat to your broker to find out about the many preventative screening options and healthy lifestyle benefits that could be covered and endorsed by your medical aid.

Most medical schemes fund the preventative screening tests from risk benefits. We have listed a few of the health checks available for men to enquire about and get started on the journey to living a healthier and happier life.

Blood Pressure

High blood pressure or hypertension can lead to kidney problems, heart disease, stroke, or even a sudden aneurysm. To reduce your risk of high blood pressure, commit to a healthy diet and limit your salt and fat intake. Blood pressure can easily be tested for in a quick and non-invasive manner at your local pharmacy, clinic, or GP.

Blood Glucose

Diabetes has been recognised as one of the top five causes of natural death in South Africa. A variety of factors that include lack of exercise, obesity, excessive sugar consumption, alcohol abuse, and genetics could cause diabetes. The test for diabetes is quick and easy with a finger prick to test a drop of blood and measure the blood glucose levels.

Cholesterol Test

With high cholesterol levels, one is at risk of heart attacks and heart disease, which leads to a hardening and narrowing of the arteries. Saturated fats, found primarily in red meat and full-fat dairy products, could contribute to high cholesterol levels. You can test your cholesterol levels at your local GP by pricking your finger and placing a drop of blood on a strip of paper. If a more comprehensive test known as a fasting lipogram test is needed, it can be done by a pathologist.

Colonoscopy

Colorectal cancer, also known as colon or rectal cancer, is one of the top 5 prevalent cancers among South African men. A colonoscopy exam is used to detect changes or abnormalities in the large intestine (colon) and rectum. Colonoscopy is a procedure that should be done by your doctor or as part of an in-hospital visit and usually takes around 20-30 minutes to complete.

Prostate Exam

Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that begins in the gland cells of the prostate, which is found only in males. There are two options used to test for prostate cancer. Doctors can use a PSA check which is a blood test that measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) known as a protein produced by both cancerous and noncancerous tissue in the prostate. The other option is known as a digital rectal exam to examine the prostate for lumps or abnormalities.

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