Father's Day Advice for Dad

Does Dad's car get better care than his own health? Here's advice every man needs.

From the WebMD Archives

National Men's Health Week starts June 11, topped off by Father's Day on June 17, so it's a good time to give your man some good health advice. "Use sunscreen!" Research suggests that men are more likely to get skin cancer than women.

Also, get the checkups every man needs to ensure a healthy heart, prostate, and colon.

Men's Health: Moles, and Skin Cancer

Men get twice the number of skin cancers as women. Is it because men are less likely to protect their skin with sunscreen -- or because they tend to have more outdoor jobs? That may not be the whole story.

Tests of male and female mouse skin have turned up a surprising finding. Researchers in one study found that male skin cells carried fewer protective antioxidants than the female skin cells. Also, when skin cancers appeared, they were more severe in males than in females. Researchers are now investigating whether human skin is really like mouse skin -- but they say that human male skin is more sensitive.

Look for moles frequently to protect your health. The majority of sun exposure happens before age 18, but skin cancers can take 20 years or more to develop. Most skin cancers are curable, and the American Cancer Society advises regular screening.

Always wear sunscreen:

  • Use broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays, with sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.
  • Use waterproof sunscreen if you will be sweating or swimming.
  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before getting into the sun. That helps the skin absorb it, so it's less likely to wash off when you perspire.
  • Remember to reapply sunscreen after swimming or strenuous exercise.
  • Apply sunscreen often throughout the day if you work outdoors. Wear hats and protective clothing.

Men's Medical Milestone Tests

To keep your body as well-tuned as your beloved car, here are some health tune-ups you need. Take them seriously, and they can save you from future engine troubles.

Age 40: Blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol profile, testicular exam, mole exam, eye exams (for presbyopia, glaucoma, macular degeneration), immunization boosters.

Age 50: Talk to your doctor about adding colorectal cancer screening and prostate cancer screening to your health tune-up list.

Age 60 and up: It's time to consider a hearing test and the pneumonia vaccine. The vaccine can help you live longer.

WebMD Feature Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on April 18, 2007

Sources

SOURCES: WebMD Medical News: "Men's Skin More Sun-Sensitive." U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: "Sunscreen: How to Select, Apply, and Use It Correctly." WebMD Medical Reference: "Medical Milestone Tests in your 40s, 50s, 60s and Up."

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