Did you know that one in three South Australian males will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime? This International Men’s Health Week (13-19 June) we are here to help start conversations around men’s health and the impact it can have on cancer risk.
This year’s theme for International Men’s Health Week is ‘Building healthy environments for men and boys—focusing on creating physically, mentally and emotionally healthy environments in the home, workplace and in social settings’. This theme can be directly applied to cancer risk and ways South Australian men of all ages can make positive changes to not only reduce their cancer risk, but also improve their overall health and wellbeing; let’s take a look.
The most commonly diagnosed cancer among South Australian men is prostate cancer, followed by bowel cancer, skin cancer, and notably throat and lung cancer—with lung cancer alone responsible for the most deaths from all types of cancer.
But, the good news is there are things you can do to reduce your cancer risk as a South Australian male.
Cut your cancer risk
Research estimates that one in three cancers can be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle—across all aspects of their life. This includes making changes to and role modelling behaviours in the home, workplace and social settings.
Cancer Council SA recommends men:
- Understand that risk of developing prostate cancer increases as you get older and is mainly diagnosed in men aged 60-79. Having a family history of prostate, breast or ovarian cancers may also increase your risk. If you are concerned about your risk of prostate cancer, have a discussion with your GP.
- Be smoke free and avoid second-hand smoke. See you GP to discuss safe and effective options for quitting smoking or call Quitline 13 7848.
- Maintain a healthy weight and have a waistline no greater than 94cm.
- Protect your skin in five ways (slip, slop, slack, seek and slide) when the ultraviolet (UV) radiation level is 3 and above.
- Eat plenty of fruit and fresh vegetables daily.
- Eat a variety of wholegrain or wholemeal breads and cereals.
- Limit processed meats (i.e. salami or bacon) and have no more than 455g of cooked red meat (700g raw weight) each week.
- Limit foods high in salt, saturated fat and sugar.
- Get 30 minutes of vigorous or 60 minutes of moderate intensity activity on most days of the week.
- Limit alcohol to no more than ten standard drinks per week, and no more than four standard drinks on any one day.
- Get to know your body and what is normal for you. See your GP if you notice any changes.
- Have regular, appropriate cancer screening tests, such as the free bowel screening test that is sent to men aged 50 and over.
By taking these actions and making these lifestyle changes, you will not only be promoting a healthy example for young men and boys, you will also be cutting the risk of cancer for yourself and future generations.
So, what are you waiting for? This Men’s Health Week, pledge to build healthy environments for yourself and those around you!
To find out more about cutting your cancer risk, click here.