Arizona men have low cancer rates, low overall health

By Diane Saunders
Staff Writer
Published on Sunday, June 12, 2011 9:20 AM MST

Men’s Health Week — June 13-19 — is a good time to celebrate what Arizona’s men are doing to improve their health and stress steps they can take to become healthier.

The good news is that 85,000 Arizona men stopped using tobacco last year, and Arizona men also have the lowest overall cancer rate in the United States, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

The not-so-good news, though, is that Arizona men rank in the bottom half for men’s overall health nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, known as the CDC. This is because of the low number of health screenings and the high rate of obesity among adult males in Arizona.

In addition, 86 percent of Arizona’s men say their health is good, very good or excellent, according to a 2009 behavioral risk survey.

Wayne Tormala, men’s health coordinator for the ADHS, said he is not surprised that men have a perception that they are healthy.

“Too often, men judge their health by how they feel or how they look,” Tormala said. “Men typically aren’t aware of the warning signs of the silent killers we know as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes.”

Tormala said there are several steps men can take to improve their health, including the following:

 • Use no tobacco products.

 • Eat right. This means sensible portions of a variety of foods.

 • Be active. Men should find activities they like and pursue those activities regularly. Those could include sports, walking, bicycling, hiking, swimming or running. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Parking the car far from the door will require walking.

 • Get medical screenings at the recommended times — 45 for prostate screening and 50 for colonoscopy. If there is a family history of colon or prostate cancers, get the screenings at a younger age.

 Tormala also recommended tobacco users visit<> for help in quitting tobacco usage or call 800-55-66-222.

For tips to better eating habits visit<>.

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