Dr. Dylan: Movember, Men’s Health Awareness Month, and more

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Many men grow mustaches during the month of November, and it’s all for supporting Men’s Health Awareness Month. But its meaning is much more serious than facial hair, at first it was to encourage men to seek screening for prostate cancer, but the goals of this month have expanded. Dr. Dylan, an emergency medicine physician at St. Luke’s stopped by The Lift to discuss this important issue.

Dr. Dylan adds to why men’s health is important, “Let’s face it- us men don’t take as good of care of ourselves as women.” He tell us that while there are health issues facing all genders and sexes, it is important to be able to address specific issues in less broad strokes so we can help our communities understand what we all can do to help reduce the risks of these conditions.

Men are far more likely to suffer from heart disease and obesity, and men die at much higher rates due to Covid. They’re more likely to suffer from Parkinson’s as well. Some of these risks are biological, like the lack of estrogen which can lead to heart disease and Parkinson’s disease. However, sometimes behavior is factor- from poor diet to not seeking care. There are also the “male anatomical” cancers- including testicular and prostate cancer. These can be caught early with screening.

Mental health is another important piece of Men’s Health Awareness month. Men are far more likely to die by suicide than women, though women attempt more. This is a symptom of a much bigger problem. Only 1 in 3 men get the mental health treatment that they need. “Things don’t get addressed that need to be addressed then they boil to the surface until a breaking point,” Dr. Dylan tells us.

Dr. Dylan has a call to action, “I hope every man in the Northland does one thing for themselves this holiday season.” This can be going for a physical, getting physical therapy for your back, or seeking help for mental health. If this all feels too overwhelming, “Just take it one at a time.”