New initiatives to help close the gap in men’s health
When it comes to health and wellness as a whole, men simply aren’t as healthy as women. Out of the 15 leading causes of death, men outnumber women. Even if married, most men die five years before their wives. In Alberta, one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. When detected early, prostate cancer is one of the most successfully treated types of cancer, but research shows that men are more likely than women to put their health on the back burner.
Calgary’s Prostate Cancer Centre’s Men’s Health Initiative expands on mobile PSA testing by offering additional health measurements through the MAN VANTM Program. These include: height and weight, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure and blood glucose. These measurements are the leading indicators of future health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and certain cancers. Following this testing, all men receive a 6 week follow up phone call from the Centre to check on any health changes they may have initiated or to find out if they had visited a health care professional.
The Women for Men’s Health is a new initiative that lives within the Prostate Cancer Centre. Its founder is Prostate Cancer Centre’s board member Dr. Shelley Spaner, an advocate for engaging men and women in closing the gender gap when it comes to health and wellness. Their mandate is to support men’s health research, education, and awareness programs.
Dr. Shelley Spaner says, “The greatest threats to men’s health in Canada are heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory disease and stroke. Making a few lifestyle changes can significantly lower your risk of these common killers.”
Dr. Spaner is a Calgary pioneer in the area of men’s health, having seen the health issues that currently face men and in a drive to make a difference, she hosted, an event called ‘Saddle Up’ a spin-a-thon with the intent to raise awareness about Men’s Health issues, challenge participants physically, and provide exposure to an activity that can easily be incorporated into any lifestyle. In the event’s two year running it raised over $100,000 for the men’s health at the Prostate Cancer Centre.
Building awareness and creating programs in which men can be more engaged and aware of their health is becoming more urgent than ever. With the help and support of individuals like Dr. Shelley Spaner and others like her, we are able to fund these programs and most importantly we can start the discussion around men’s health.
Sheldon Semmler, Communications Coordinator
Direct: 403-943-8950 Cell: 403-607-4492