Empowering Men for Healthy Living

Jun 21, 2024 | 2024, Health and Wellness

It can be easy to neglect one’s health — especially when there isn’t an immediate health concern. Research shows that men are significantly less likely than women to see a doctor or report symptoms to a healthcare provider. It’s reported that only 60% of men go to the doctor for a yearly routine checkup and 40% won’t go until something is seriously wrong. It’s important to know that prevention is key and there are things people can do to live longer, healthier lives. June highlights Men’s Health Month, a time for men to think about potential health issues and a reminder to take charge of their health.

Some of the biggest threats to men’s health is heart disease and cancer, followed by lung disease, stroke, diabetes and depression. Although some of these health concerns may not be entirely preventable, they can be better managed by making smart lifestyle choices, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising and getting yearly exams with a healthcare provider.

Heart Disease

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading cause of death among men in the United States is heart disease — that’s about 1 in every 4 male deaths. To help decrease one’s risk, it’s important to learn the contributing factors for heart disease: 

  • Diabetes
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Smoking
  • Unhealthy diet


Diabetes affects 1 in 10 Americans. Type 2 diabetes can increase the risk of stroke, heart disease, kidney failure and limb amputations. While men and women are both affected by diabetes, the risks and side effects are different among men. Some male-specific side effects include:

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Incontinence
  • Overactive bladder
  • Urinary tract infections 

Prostate Cancer

Aside from non-melanoma skin cancer, prostate cancer is the leading cancer among men in the United States. In fact, about 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. Prostate cancer can be a serious disease, but most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die from it, especially when diagnosed early. Symptoms to look out for and discuss with a healthcare provider are:

  • Blood in the semen or urine
  • Bone pain
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Trouble urinating
  • Weight loss

Lung Cancer 

Men are 23% more likely than women to be diagnosed with lung cancer, according to the American Lung Association. The chance that a man will develop lung cancer in his lifetime is about 1 in 16 — for people who smoke the risk is much higher. Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in the United States (not counting skin cancer) and is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. It’s important to identify lung cancer risk factors and learn if lung cancer screening is recommended. Those who meet the following criteria should be screened for lung cancer:

  • Age 50 to 80
  • Current smokers or those who quit in the past 15 years
  • Have a 20-year or more smoking history


Approximately 31% of men have suffered from a period of depression in their lifetime, yet only 1 in 4 men spoke to a mental health professional, according to a survey. If left untreated, depression can have devastating consequences that can affect daily life. Here are some common signs that may signify depression:

  • Feelings of hopeless or pessimism
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
  • Fatigue, lack of energy or feeling slowed down
  • Lack of interest in pleasurable activities

Getting support right away helps to deliver the best possible outcomes. Here are some resources:

  • Mental health services. Members have access to mental health services through U.S. Behavioral Health Plan, California (USBHPC). Members can self-refer for in-network office or virtual visits. Visit Live and Work Well or call USBHPC at (855) 202-0984 to find a provider.
  • 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. If someone is in a suicidal crisis or emotional distress, they or a loved one can call or text 9-8-8, anytime, day or night, to reach free, confidential emotional support.

Scheduling Care

Prioritizing one’s health yields long-term benefits. Healthy habits established early can help prevent chronic illnesses later in life, leading to improved longevity and overall quality of life. Bringing attention to men’s health helps foster a culture of wellbeing that can continue benefiting future generations.

Members have convenient, 24/7 access to manage many aspects of their care, including scheduling an annual physical or a same-day in-person or virtual visit with a participating provider, viewing lab results, and connecting with a care team through My Health Online, Sutter’s secure patient portal. Login or sign up to make an appointment.