Men’s Health Month: Physicians from NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Offer Health Tips to Promote Wellness

Jun 21, 2018

Queens, New York

June is Men’s Health Month, and it is time to raise awareness and promote disease prevention among the male population.  Dr. Joseph T. Cooke, chairman of Department of Medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens, offers the following health tips that can lead to a longer and healthier life.

"Men are susceptible to heart disease, hypertension, and certain types of cancer, and each of these diseases can be prevented or detected earlier with simple lifestyle changes," said Joseph T. Cooke, M.D., chairman, Department of Medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens. "A man who follows dietary guidelines, schedules regular checkups, and receives recommended screenings can live a longer and healthier life. Men’s Health Month and Father’s Day are a good time to remind the important men in our lives to eat healthy, exercise and visit the doctor for a checkup."

On average, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the life expectancy of a male is five years fewer than the life expectancy of a female. Some of the leading causes of death among men include heart disease, stroke and cancer. Lung, prostate and colorectal cancer are among the common types of cancers that afflict men. The following tips can help men prevent contracting these diseases or help their physicians identify these illnesses at their earliest, most treatable stages.

Checkups and Screenings: 

1. Schedule physicals: A male younger than 40, and in good health, should schedule a physical exam every three years. A man between 40 and 50 should visit a doctor for a checkup every two years. Males 50 years of age and older should get in the routine of scheduling a yearly physical exam. 

A comprehensive exam should include a blood test and a blood pressure assessment. This can identify elevated cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and other risks to good health.

2. Age-appropriate screenings: After the age of 50, men should discuss screenings with their physician.  They should also talk about additional measures to prevent disease, or to detect disease at its earliest phase. 

Recommendations include:

  • Blood Lipids screen: cholesterol, LDL (bad), HDL (good); controlling  cholesterol may decrease heart attacks and stroke.
  • Electrocardiograms, also known as EKGs, to detect for heart abnormalities after the age of 40.
  • Colonoscopies can help find colon cancer at its earliest and most treatable stages. It is strongly recommended for individuals older than 50.
  • Low dose Chest CT scan should be considered for certain active and former smokers over the age of 55.
  • PSA test, for prostate cancer screenings after the age of 40 in at-risk populations, for example, African Americans and individuals with a family history of prostate cancer. Discuss the merits of PSA blood tests with your physician.

3. Self-Exams: Men should be in the habit of checking their skin for unusual moles or growths. They should also check their testicles and chest for any lumps or other abnormalities.  This can help detect skin, testicular and breast cancer.

4. Viral illnesses: All men should have a discussion with their physician about receiving testing for hepatitis, HIV and other viral illnesses that can go undiagnosed in many men.

5. Vaccinations - determine what is appropriate for you.   Vaccines are now available for influenza, pneumonia,  shingles, and hepatitis B.

Healthier Habits: 

1. Do not smoke: Smoking contributes to some of the leading causes of death in men.  This includes heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, colorectal cancer and a host of other diseases. 

2. Consume alcohol moderately: Heavy alcohol use is another leading cause of premature death among men.  Drinking moderately and responsibly can have health benefits.

3. Eat fruit and vegetables: A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can promote a healthier weight and lower blood pressure. Vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables can help protect against heart disease, stroke and many types of cancer.

4. Reduce the consumption of red meat: Red meat can increase cholesterol and the heavy consumption of red meat has been associated with prostate and colorectal cancers. By saving red meat for special occasions, like Father’s Day, you can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

5. Exercise: The benefits of exercise are well known. Even 30 minutes of moderate activity, like a brisk walk, can have far-reaching health benefits.

6. Know your family history: Talk to other blood relatives about their health issues and share that information with your doctor. Family history is one of the best risk assessment tools a physician can use. 

7. Wear Sunscreen:  Being diligent about the application of sunscreen can help prevent skin cancer.  If you’re outside, apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.


NewYork-Presbyterian Queens

NewYork-Presbyterian Queens, located in Flushing, New York, is a community teaching hospital affiliated with Weill Cornell Medicine, serving Queens and metro New York residents. The 535-bed tertiary care facility provides services in 14 clinical departments and numerous subspecialties.  Annually, 15,000 surgeries and 4,000 infant deliveries are performed at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens. With its network of affiliated primary and multispecialty care physician practices and community-based health centers, the hospital provides approximately 162,000 ambulatory care visits and 124,000 emergency service visits annually. For more information, visit 


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Ryan Carbain 212-843-8492