Healthwatch: Men’s health in focus in November

Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 5:24 PM EDT
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WEST LEBANON, N.H. (WCAX) - You may see a lot of men sporting mustaches this month. As our Adam Sullivan reports, the facial hair is designed to raise awareness this month of what men need to do to maintain healthy lifestyles.

“I was great until I was 45 and then it started waning,” said Marc Emerson of Brookfield. Regular checkups at the doctors office are now part of the 61-year-olds annual routine. “My father died of colon cancer at 70 so I’ve been keeping up with that.”

Sixty-seven-year-old Thomas Fenn from Tunbridge tries to get cardio exercise as often as possible. “I’ve had a heart attack so it is something that I am aware of,” he said. “We like to walk so we are out hiking all the time.”

Heart disease, obesity, and diabetes are all risk factors for men as they age, but there is another big one. “Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in America. Somewhere around one in six men will develop it in their lifetime,” said Dr. J. Andrew Dreslin, a urologist with Gifford Medical Center. He says it’s important men get tested for prostate cancer sooner rather than later. “We typically recommend starting that round the age of 55.”

Treatment options range from simple monitoring to chemotherapy. Dreslin says early detection will make the cancer easier to be managed. “I think one benefit to the smaller community hospitals is our access,” he said.

Like most preventive measures, doctors say a healthy diet that limits fat and red meat, as well as regular exercise, does the body good.

“I’m on a farm building, lifting, constantly moving around,” Emerson said. But the farmer says he has one more thing he wants to ask about at his next appointment. “Yeah, prostate -- that’s on the list. I should probably look into that.”))

“That’s something that you need to have checked, yup,” added Fenn.

Many men chose to grow a mustache during the month of November to raise awareness and in some cases, spark discussions about the issues surrounding men’s health.

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