• By Laurel Kelly

Consumer Health: Men’s health and living a longer, healthier life

June 10, 2022

June is Men's Health Month, and Men's Health Week will be observed June 13–19, which makes this a good time to learn about the biggest threats to men's health and what you can do to keep yourself healthy.

Two of the leading causes of death for men in the U.S. are heart disease and cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The good news is that healthy lifestyle choices can reduce your risk for both.

Heart disease encompasses a range of conditions that affect your heart, including blood vessel disease, such as coronary artery disease; heart rhythm problems, or arrhythmiascongenital heart defects; and heart valve disease.

You can reduce your risk of heart disease by:

  • Not smoking, or quitting if you already do.
  • Controlling other health conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
  • Exercising at least 30 minutes per day most days of the week.
  • Eating a diet that's low in salt and saturated fat.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.

The three most common cancers for men in the U.S. are prostate, lung and colorectal, according to the National Cancer InstituteTreatment for certain cancers can affect your sexuality, causing a range of signs and symptoms that can make sex with your partner more difficult.

You can reduce your risk of prostate cancer by:

  • Eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables.
  • Exercising most days of the week.
  • Maintaining a health weight.

You can reduce your risk of lung cancer by:

  • Not smoking, or quitting if you already do.
  • Avoiding secondhand smoke.
  • Eating a diet full of fruits and vegetables.
  • Exercising most days of the week.

You can reduce your risk of colorectal cancer by:

  • Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Drinking alcohol in moderation, if at all.
  • Not smoking, or quitting if you already do.
  • Exercising most days of the week.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight.

The pattern is clear, but it may seem overwhelming. You may not know where to begin, or how much difference a few small steps can make. Take control of your health by talking with your health care team about your lifestyle and health history. Then get serious about reducing your risk.

Connect with other men talking about healthy lifestyle choices in the Men's Health support group on Mayo Clinic Connect, an online patient community moderated by Mayo Clinic.