14 June 2024

Have you had a health check recently? Health network encourages men to get screened this Men's Health Week

| Jarryd Rowley
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Dr Nathaniel Chiang and Kooringal Rotary Club President Trevor Webb

The Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network is encouraging men to book an appointment with their GP as part of Men’s Health Week. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

With Men’s Health Week kicking off this week, the Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network (MPHN) is reminding men to look after their health by checking in with their GPs.

International Men’s Health Week runs from 10 to 16 June and is celebrating its 30th anniversary. This year’s theme is ‘Men’s Health Checks’.

According to MPHN, coronary heart disease is still the leading cause of death among men in the Murrumbidgee, with rates more than 10 per cent higher than the national average.

In addition to booking a heart health check with their GP, men can help reduce their risk by avoiding smoking, staying active, limiting foods containing saturated fat, limiting the addition of salt and sugars, limiting alcohol, and maintaining a healthy body weight.

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Lung cancer is also of major concern, being the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men in the Murrumbidgee, sitting at 10 per cent above the national average. Other studies by MPHN also found that men in the Murrumbidgee region also had one of the highest rates of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – 40 per cent above the national average.

According to the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care (ADHAC) 14,800 Australians were diagnosed with lung cancer in 2023 and 8700 Australians died from lung cancer.

MPHN’s Chief Data Officer Dr Jason Bennie said by highlighting key health concerns and providing steps to reduce the risk of disease, more men in the Murrumbidgee would feel empowered to take control of their own health.

“It’s not uncommon for men to delay seeing a doctor until they’re already feeling unwell, and sometimes not even then,” Dr Bennie said.

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“Just like you take your car in for a regular service, you need to do the same for your body.

“There could be something going on ‘under the hood’ that, if addressed promptly, might help you avoid illness and may add years to your life expectancy.

“Use Men’s Health Week as a reminder to book in with your GP for a health check and help keep your body in good working order for years to come.”

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