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Cancer coach Mirela Kopier emphasizes why it’s crucial for men to take charge of their health and how starting may be easier than you think.

This is for all my men battling cancer―those guys who do not want to show they are scared or in pain. Those beautiful, amazing men who want and need to be strong for their spouses, children and parents, but forget they are allowed to show their vulnerability. Guys, being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness. Cancer is scary, and allowing those who love you to take care of you is one of the most important things you can do during your journey.

According to the American Cancer Society, the top three cancers affecting men are lung, prostate and colorectal cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men are more likely than women to be diagnosed with cancer and die from the disease. It is a somber truth that requires a deeper analysis.  

There are a number of preventative steps men can take for their health. One significant habit to form is going for your preventative screenings. Women are more likely to prioritize their annual screenings than men. Additionally, men are more likely to ignore minor body aches, pains and irritations. 

When I see these statistics, they make me think about the men in my life. My husband never pays attention to the little things that bother him. My brother hates going to the doctor. My uncle/godfather passed away from colon cancer at the age of 56. He did not even know what a screening was. I am sure I can speak to the women out there who want to see the men they love live long, healthy lives. Gentlemen, please listen to those who love you.

Taking supplements is another beneficial practice. Saw palmetto, a supplement made from the fruit of the Serenoa repens tree, is the number one supplement for prostate health. Vitamin D is key for maintaining optimum testosterone levels. Omega-3 fatty acids are total-health supplements and can help keep joints and muscles healthy and lubricated from within. If you decide to embark on a supplement regimen, I encourage you to consult with your doctor first. 

Your diet is also a crucial component in preventative care and cancer treatment. According to studies published by the Mayo Clinic, men who consumed a high-fat diet faced an increased risk of developing prostate cancer. To reduce your fat intake, try choosing leaner cuts of beef or opting for chicken and fish instead. Remember those omega-3s? Fish is a wonderful source of them. Eating more fruits and vegetables will help reduce your risk as well. When they say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” they are not kidding!

I cannot stress enough the importance of taking good care of yourselves, gentlemen. I encourage you to visit your doctor, get your preventative screenings, eat better, exercise and take the appropriate supplements. The best way to care for your spouses, children, parents and friends is to take care of yourself first. 

Stay well and enlightened until next time.

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