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Men’s Health Month: How Men Can Focus Health?

June 30, 2023
Nicholas Shungu, M.D.

June is Men’s Health Month, which encourages boys and men to take charge of their overall health by implementing healthy living decisions. Dr. Nicholas Shungu is here to answer a few frequently asked questions and offer tips on what health concerns men should prioritize through each stage of their lives. 

What the Top Three Health Issues Men Face Todays?

Some of the top men's health issues to be on the lookout for include the following, according to the CDC:

Heart disease

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men. Reduce your risk by quitting smoking, staying on a nutritious diet, staying active, managing stress levels, and taking any physician-recommended medications.


  • This is the second-leading cause of death among U.S. males. You can manage your risk of cancer by doing simple things like:
  • Limit the amount of processed red meat you consume
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Consult your provider about the best screenings for you
  • Quit smoking.

For several reasons, Black men are at increased risk of dying from a number of types of cancer.


  • Men have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes at a lower weight because male bodies typically have more belly fat, which increases the risk. The good news is you can manage your risk by maintaining a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise. Talk to your provider about your risk for prediabetes so that you can take action as early as possible.

Cancers most commonly diagnosed in men include

  • Skin cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Lung cancer

What are some other common health issues among men?

  • Erectile dysfunction: This commonly occurs as men get older, but it doesn’t have to affect your sex life. This also may be a sign of an underlying medical problem or may be caused by stress. Talk to your provider about testing or medications that may be right for you.
  • Men with human papillomavirus (HPV) can develop health issues like penile cancer. If you’re under the age of 26, it is recommended to get the HPV vaccine and always use a condom as an important measure to prevent HPV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • Mental health: Managing stress plays an important role in mental as well as physical health. Many men deal with conditions such as anxiety or depression at some point. Symptoms such as low energy, low sex drive, and trouble focusing can be caused by mental health disorders. These symptoms can also occur secondary to medical problems such as low testosterone or thyroid conditions. It is important to talk to your provider about healthy ways to manage stress and to see if additional testing is needed.

How can men get healthy and stay healthy?

Men can maintain their health by quitting smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, eating healthily, exercising at least half an hour five days a week, and staying up-to-date on wellness visits and recommended screenings. Safe sex with a loving partner also has great health benefits.

What are the recommended exams and screenings for men my age?

Here are some recommended checkups and timelines. Please note that you may need more frequent screenings depending on your family history, existing symptoms, or chronic conditions. Your primary care doctor can help you determine the best timeline for your unique health risks.

Wellness Visit

  • Age 18 to 34: Check every 1 to 3 years
  • Age 35+: Check annually

Cholesterol Test

  • Everyone should have this checked every 5 years.
  • Ages 50+: You may need to check as frequently as 3 to 5 years.

Blood Pressure Test

  • This should be part of every wellness visit.

Type 2 Diabetes Screening

  • Begin screening for this every 3 years from age 45 and sooner if risk factors like overweight or family history

Prostate Cancer Screening

  • From age 50 to 69, discuss the risks and benefits of this screening with your provider.

Colon Cancer Screening

  • Everyone should have this screening from age 45 to 75
  • Colonoscopies can be done every 10 years if normal. Stool tests every 1-3 years can also be used for screening.

Hearing Test

  • Everyone should have this checked each year

Eyes/Glaucoma Test

  • Age 18 to 34: Check annually
  • Age 35 to 64: Check every two to four years
  • Age 65+: Check every 1 to 2 years

Skin Care Exam

  • Ask to have this checked at every wellness visit

Dental Health Checkup

  • Maintain good dental health with a checkup with your dentist every 6 months.

Do you have a wellness visit scheduled with your doctor this year?

Dr. Shungu is a family medicine physician at MUSC Health who strives to provide compassionate and high-quality care to patients of all ages and backgrounds. His clinical interests include chronic disease management, self-care, care for underserved populations, and medical student education.

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