Your Health: Man up to preserve your body | CraigDailyPress.com

Your Health: Man up to preserve your body

TMH’s March MANness program is winding down to a close, with the final opportunities for men to participate in discounted health screenings April 15.





TMH's March MANness program is winding down to a close, with the final opportunities for men to participate in discounted health screenings April 15.

The Memorial Hospital soon will complete a program that focused on elements of health for about one month, but the overall message organizers hope to convey is that good health is something happens year round.

— For more information about March MANness or other health screening options, call 970-826-2400.

TMH's March MAN­­ness program is winding down, and men's final chance to participate in discounted health screenings is Tuesday. Despite the name, the effort was extended an extra two weeks into the first half of April to accommodate increased a greater demand than expected as well as to hopefully encourage more men to participate.

TMH Medical Clinic Director Terri Jourgensen said the expectation was only five men, 10 at the very most, but she was pleased to have 17 respond to the offer for testing in blood pressure, prostate health and other parts of bodily well-being.

"All of them were new to TMH too, so that's 17 new patients for us," she said.

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Jourgensen said March MANness was conceived because of the tendency of men to be "tough" and "stoic" when it comes to their health, ignoring a small problem until it becomes much bigger.

Although few of the screenings were specific to men, a hearing exam was meant to cater to those whose job may involve a lot of harsh noise or recreational activities such as hunting and target shooting that can affect the eardrums.

Men older than 40 are strongly advised to have their prostate gland checked on a regular basis. Besides the increasing risk for inflammation or even cancer the older men get, symptoms that something is wrong — like trouble urinating — aren't always easy to spot.

The same is true of concerns like colorectal cancer, Jourgensen said.

"You don't have a lot of nerve endings in the colon, so there's not a lot of pain," she said.

A colonoscopy is another procedure that becomes more important in middle age for men and women. The American Cancer Society encourages a colonoscopy every 10 years after age 50, with other tests such as a sigmoidoscopy every five years if needed.

While men and women face many of the same health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes and other issues, men statistically are more susceptible in some categories.

For example, 2012 data from the American Heart Association shows males and females examined in 2006 for cardiovascular health had about the same percentage of poor blood pressure readings, but while about half the women involved in the study were in the ideal range, far fewer men were in the upper percentile, less than 40 percent.

A projection for 2020 showed that's unlikely to change much.

Jourgensen said she hopes the positive response to March MANness will show the need for TMH to put together more seasonal programs that give patients an incentive to stay on top of their health rather than worrying only when serious problems occur.

The hospital's forthcoming Community Health Fair on April 26 will be one such opportunity.

"We'll have a much broader spectrum of stuff there, with a lot of good information," Jourgensen said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.

— For more information about March MANness or other health screening options, call 970-826-2400.