This Men’s Health Week (June 15-21), Cancer Council Queensland is encouraging men to take a moment to make a small change in their daily routine to improve health and wellbeing.
The theme of this year’s campaign is ‘Moments in time’, recognising that every individual, family and community can find health-giving opportunities despite the many and varied challenges, barriers and obstacles to better health that life puts in the way.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Kim Ryan said many men didn’t realise their daily behaviours can impact their health and wellbeing, and how those decisions impact the way they look, feel and perform.
“While men fare well on many economic indicators, such as earnings and employment progression, in health they face poorer outcomes than women across a wide range of key indicators,” Ms Ryan said.
“Heath areas of concern for men include lower life expectancy, higher levels of avoidable mortality and higher mortality from almost all common causes of death including cancer.
“Men’s health and wellbeing is an important issue for the whole community.”
Around 14,500 Queensland men will be diagnosed with cancer this year.
“This year alone more than 4000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, 2000 with melanoma and 1700 with bowel cancer. Sadly, around 4800 of these men will die from the disease,” Ms Ryan said.
“It’s time to talk about cancer, to prevent it and to support men to improve their health.”
The most recent Queensland Health data* shows the male cancer incidence rate in 2010 was 45 per cent higher than the female rate, with prostate cancer, melanoma, colorectal cancer and lung cancer the leading causes of new cases diagnosed.
“We are calling on all Queenslanders to encourage the men in their life to take a moment to make a small change for better health – and there are plenty of ways men can make a start,” Ms Ryan said.
“Men are less sun safe than women and as a result have higher rates of melanoma. There is great potential to improve the health of males by implementing better lifestyle choices – things as easy as remembering to apply sunscreen daily.
“We also know that the two most important risks for chronic disease burden are smoking and overweight and obesity. Fewer men than women consume the recommended serves of fruit and vegetables, and men are more likely to consume soft drink daily and eat takeaway food on a weekly basis.
“Making a pledge to seek help to quit smoking or incorporating a few extra healthy snacks into your lunch can make a world of difference to a person’s health – and it only takes a moment.”
Research estimates that up to one-third of cancers and 40 per cent of deaths from cancer worldwide could be prevented through making simple lifestyle changes including quitting smoking, participating in screening programs, eating healthily, staying active and being SunSmart.
“While men continue to fare well in terms of being more (15%) physically active than women, we still have a long distance to run to improve men’s health,” Ms Ryan said.
“Take a moment to encourage the men in your life to make a small change in their daily routine that will help to make a positive difference to health and wellbeing for years to come.”
More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at www.cancerqld.org.au or via Cancer Council’s 13 11 20.
Cancer Council Queensland is an independent community-based charity, the achievements of which are made possible by the generosity of Queenslanders.
For more information, please contact:
Kim Ryan, Senior Media Specialist, Cancer Council Queensland
P. (07) 3634 5239 M. 0488 015 702