…In honor of Men’s Health Week, here are some additional thoughts from Dr. Robert Tager (continued from Tuesday’s post)
* Women tend to be more health conscious than men, but they are often instrumental in promoting men’s health as well as their own. This article is intended to give health-related information but not to give medical advice. It is important to speak with your doctor if you plan on significantly changing your activity level or your diet or if you have questions about diagnostic tests or treatment.
* In older men, an abnormal PSA (prostate specific antigen) test sometimes leads to surgical treatment of a condition that may not cause any problem during the person’s lifetime because of the slow-growing nature of many prostate cancers. The National Institute on Aging website says that, “Some doctors think men age 50 and older should have yearly PSA tests; others do not. We know that this test can help detect cancer before it causes symptoms, but we aren’t sure that PSA tests save lives. The PSA test can find small cancers that may not grow or spread. Not all prostate cancers are life-threatening, and treatments can cause side effects.”
* Prevention is preferable to treatment. Prostate cancer is unusual in Japan but more common in Japanese Americans, probably due to increased saturated fat in the diet, such as from red meat. Stomach cancer is common in Japan, but less common in Japanese Americans, probably due to decreased consumption of salt, such as from salted fish and pickled vegetables.
* Key things you can do to maintain and promote health are to maintain physical, mental and social activity and eat a heart healthy diet, which is also a brain healthy diet. Excellent resources about this include the National Institute on Aging publications. http://www.nia.nih.gov/HealthInformation/Publications/ NIA publications are free, and the one titled Exercise & Physical Activity is particularly good and contains a section on Healthy Eating. Since the internet also contains a great deal of misinformation, it is best to stay with reliable and well recognized sources.
Robert Tager, M.D. is a neurologist and Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Gerontology at the Keck School of Medicine of U.S.C. and U.S.C. Davis School of Gerontology. He teaches Ethical Issues in Geriatric Health Care and Introduction to Clinical Geriatrics at the Gerontology School and is active in the Program of Medical Humanities, Arts and Ethics at the Medical School.
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