Men:  This One is for You

Ray Sanchez, Chief Operating Officer, Victoria Hospital

June is Men’s Health Month, and Victoria Hospital is committed to the men of Fort Richmond.  You are our friends, neighbours, husbands, fathers, brothers, and staff members.  Because we value you, we want you to be healthy.  This will, however, require some action on your part!

Stereotypically men are resistant to seeing doctors and dismissive of healthy lifestyles. According to researchers, the cause is partly because of gender scripts – it is not “macho” to attend to health matters.  It’s 2023. Let’s flip the script and help you get the most out of life.

The leading cause of death in Manitoba men is cancer, and three types in particular:  lung, prostate, and colorectal.  The second leading cause of death is heart disease.  Fortunately, you can take many steps to prevent these diseases or catch them early enough to improve outcomes.  We’ve got 10 tips for you.  Are you already doing them? Bravo!  If not, please consider them.  Every step you take improves your odds.

  1. Eat a healthy diet low in processed food and charred meat, and high in vegetables and fruit. Aim for 5-8 servings of fruit and vegetables daily.
  2. 2.5 hours of exercise weekly reduces the likelihood of cancer and heart disease. Try 5 days/week for 30 minutes.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight.  If you are over your ideal weight, note that even a modest weight loss (5% of your weight) significantly reduces your health risks.
  4. If you are a smoker, get help to quit.  Smoking doesn’t just cause lung cancer; it is also linked to prostate and colorectal cancers.
  5. Test your house for radon, which can cause lung cancer.  It is easy: just do a web search for “radon testing in Manitoba.”
  6. Have a family doctor or nurse practitioner.  See them regularly for prostate screening.  They will also check your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar for silent signs of heart disease and diabetes.  How often should you go?  Go once and ask them.
  7. Drink less alcohol.  According to Canadian researchers, the ideal quantity is two drinks per week or less, and risk rises beyond that.  But they also note that any reduction results in lower risk.
  8. Make sleep a priority.  Less than 7-8 hours nightly increases your risk of heart disease, colorectal cancer, and diabetes. 
  9. If you are between 50 and 74, sign up for the ColonCheck program through CancerCare Manitoba.  Every two years they will screen for blood in your stool.  This simple test reduces deaths from colorectal cancer by 25%.
  10. Care for your mental health.  Stress impacts many aspects of health including your cardiovascular system. Historically men are less likely to seek mental health care (again, gender stereotypes) but we can change this. Not ready to talk? A great place to start is the website from British Columbia.

Invest in yourself and your future.  Do it for you, and for the folks who love you. Pick one idea and get started this month!    

Skip to content