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Strong lungs, safe driving key for men
Heart health, injury prevention are important for men

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Date published: 6/20/2010

BY JANET MARSHALL

The things that cut fathers' lives short often could be prevented or delayed by regular medical care. But men are considerably less likely than women to see a doctor.

Of all the people who saw a physician in 2007, 58 percent were women, the federal National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey showed.

Men do see doctors more often as they age. But check-ups before middle age, before symptoms drive a man to a clinic, can help men cut their risk of heart disease, cancer, strokes and lung disease--four of the top leading killers of men. (The fifth is car accidents.)

On Father's Day, we share a rundown of the ailments that commonly strike men, with tips for preventing and managing the conditions.

HEART DISEASE

To protect your heart, don't smoke, quit if you do smoke, get some exercise most days of the week and eat a diet heavier in vegetables and lean meats than in artery-clogging fats.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for all Americans. If it runs in your family, do yourself a favor and get checked out before you start suffering chest pains. Diet, lifestyle and medicines can help keep risk factors for heart disease--such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol--in check.

To read more about heart disease, visit heart.org.

CANCER

Lung cancer is the leading cancer-related cause of death among men. Though not all cases of lung cancer are related to smoking, many are, so cut your risk by not lighting up.

Prostate cancer, while less lethal than lung cancer, is more common in men. Treating it effectively depends on diagnosing it early, the Mayo Clinic says. That means it's important to see a doctor if you experience symptoms such as:

trouble urinating

blood in your urine or semen

swelling in your legs

discomfort in your pelvic area

a less-forceful stream of urine than usual.

There's debate about when men should be screened for prostate cancer, so speak to your doctor about your risks and needs, especially once you hit 50. African-American men are at higher risk for prostate cancer than other men, as are men with a family history of the disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

INJURIES


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