Monday, March 18, 2019


3 Common Health Issues Black Men Should be Concerned About.

December 16, 2018 by  
Filed under Health, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) One of the more difficult things for a black man to do is to ask for help. Society has made it so unacceptable for a man to ask for help, by not producing programs geared towards helping black men, that it viewed as a weakness to ask for help. This is also the same when it comes to health. In addition to there being so much responsibility on their shoulder, as it relates to the home, there is almost an innate requirement to endure pain until it can no longer go unnoticed. Black men will go months with a pain in their neck, back, feet, etc., without going to be checked out by a doctor or asking someone around them for help with identifying the pain they are experiencing.

Although every pain is not life threatening and can be overlooked, some, when overlooked can be life-threatening. There are some common men’s health problems that are treatable if caught early enough, but can be permanently disabling or fatal if not detected before symptoms start showing. Some of these potentially silent killers include heart disease, prostate cancer, and hypertension, all of which can be treated or prevented if caught early enough.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is the most common killer of both men and women in America. In the U.S., an estimated 61.8 million people live with heart disease. The fact is that most Americans have high-fat diets and do not exercise much, if at all.  This leads to high cholesterol levels that can block the cardiac arteries causing heart muscle failure or can lead to blood clots elsewhere in the body that can progress to the heart and cause a heart attack. Fortunately, if heart disease is detected before any major damage has occurred there are treatments available.

Lifestyle changes are the first line of defense in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Medical interventions range from drugs to surgery. By taking medication and following a physician approved program, of diet and exercise some men can live a long and full life, even with heart disease, if caught early enough.

Prostate Cancer

The statistics on prostate cancer are shocking. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer, excluding skin cancers, in American men. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that during 2018 there have already been 164,690 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States. Black men are more likely to have prostate cancer and one out of 41 men will pass from it.

As life expectancy has increased, the overall impact of prostate cancer is becoming more prevalent.  Fortunately, prostate cancer is easily treated if it is detected early in the disease’s progression.  For this reason, it is very important that black men, especially over the age of forty, receive annual prostate examinations.  Typically, the progression of prostate cancer is quite slow, and many people can live with the disease for years without experiencing any symptoms.

Some of the symptoms of Prostate Cancer Include:

  • Increase in frequency of urination, specifically at night
  • Difficulty when starting urination, with a painful or burning sensation
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Pain or stiffness in the back, hips, or upper thighs

Hypertension

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is often called “the silent killer” because it usually lies dormant until a heart attack or stroke occurs. For this reason, you should receive a regular blood pressure screening. If caught early enough, hypertension can be treated via medication and/or by a change in lifestyle. When you are diagnosed with hypertension it means that the cause is unknown, however, there are some things that increase your likelihood of attracting the disease and just being black is one of those things. Normal blood pressure range is less than 120 Systolic and less than 80 Diastolic. The Mayo Clinic suggests getting a blood pressure test done every two years after the age of 18 and then once a year after the age of 40. The best way to prevent high blood pressure is monitoring your diet and getting the proper exercise.

Asking for help does not make you weak. Asking for help displays your strength. It takes courage to be willing to openly admit that you are struggling with something and need help. A test will do more help than it can hurt.

Staff Writer; Sister Victoria X

One may also follow this sister over at; SVX.


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