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NEWS | June 12, 2019

Awareness is the first step

By Senior Airman Tristan Biese 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

June is National Men’s Health Month and in conjunction with Men’s Health Week from June 10-16, it is important for the men of Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, to be aware of the possible health problems they may face.

National Men’s Health Month and week are meant to bring awareness to the preventable health problems found in men and boys and how they can affect U.S. Air Force Airmen, U.S. Army Soldiers, Department of Defense civilians, retirees and their families.

“Men’s Health Month is [about] being physically and mentally prepared to take on your day-to-day lives, whether it’s at work or at home,” said Tech. Sgt. James Miller, 633rd Aerospace Medicine Squadron independent duty medical technician. “Being physically fit and mentally fit prepares us against our adversaries as well as strengthens our team bond because we know we [will be able] to rely on one another.”

The issues men face can start off minor, but if they go unchecked they can develop into more severe problems. Some of the problems men face are heart disease, cholesterol problems, colon cancer and especially, prostate and testicular cancer.

“We all have brothers, fathers, sons or uncles and they need to be aware of the specific conditions related to men,” said Colette Palmer, McDonald Army Health Center family nurse practitioner. “It’s a big impact on your health if we do early detection.”

According to Palmer and Miller, some things men can do to help prevent these issues include maintaining a healthy diet, exercise at least 150 minutes a week, quit smoking, reduce alcohol intake and individuals around 50 years old should schedule annual health screenings.

“Early detection is actually the key to any of these illnesses,” said Miller. “The earlier you can find it, the earlier you can treat the problem and possibly get rid of it before it can develop into something much worse.”

While it is important to have annual screenings and exams – the first step starts with the individual. Speak with a primary care provider to answer any questions on how to spot early signs.