Men's Health

Men's Health In Ontario County

Ontario County Public Health is concerned about your health and is committed to providing programs, services and education and to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

This page provides information about our health programs, classes, brochures and links to other websites on the Internet which provide information to maintain your health.

The following links provide further information for our programs:

Services in Cancer Screening For Men and Women

The Ontario, Seneca, and Yates Counties Cancer Services Program provides colorectal screening test kits to men and women who meet program eligibility requirements. Cancer of the colon or the rectum may not have any obvious symptoms. The fecal immunochemical test (Fit Kit) checks your stool (bowel movement) for signs of tiny amounts of blood. This test comes in a kit so you can perform it yourself at home. This simple screening test can save lives! For more information, go to Cancer Screening.

Are Men the Weaker Sex?

A Healthcare Crisis

"There is a silent healthcare crisis in's the fact that, on average, American men live sicker, and die younger than American women." Dr. David Gremillion, Men's Health.

The week before Father's Day was Men's Health Week. Why should men have a week of their own? Believe me, it is the least we can do. Males die, on average, almost six years earlier than females. They are at higher risk for homicide, suicide, heart disease, cancer and injuries; AND they seek routine medical care much less frequently than women. Here are some quick facts about men's health.

Every year, cancer claims the lives of nearly 300,000 men in America. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information about cancer in men.

Lung Cancer
More men in the U. S. die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. There is no widely accepted screening test. Men can reduce their risk by not smoking, avoiding second hand smoke, and having their homes checked for the presence of radon.

Screening: Chest x-ray and sputum examination (looking at lung secretions with a microscope) are sometimes used to check for signs lung cancer. These screening tests have not been shown to decrease the likelihood of dying from lung cancer, however. Some studies suggest that CT scans (special type of x-ray) may be useful at finding early lung cancers in people who smoke.

Prostate Cancer
Cancer of the prostate is the most common cancer in U. S. men. Risk increases with age. African Americans and those with a family history are more likely to suffer from prostate cancer.

Screening: Not all medical providers agree on how screening should be done. Many caregivers use digital rectal exam (feeling the prostate through the rectum, using a lubricated, gloved finger) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing. PSA is a substance made by the prostate gland. Levels are high in men who have prostate cancer. It may also be high in men with an inflamed or enlarged prostate.

Colorectal (Colon) Cancer
Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of death in American men. It is largely preventable with routine screening. Symptoms often indicate advanced disease.

Screening: There are numerous screening tests for colorectal cancer. The fecal occult blood test (FOBT) and the fecal immunochemical test (FIT) look for tiny amounts of blood in the stool. This could indicate the presence of cancer. If blood is detected, your physician might order a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. During these procedures, cancerous and precancerous lesions can be identified and removed.

Skin Cancer

The skin is the largest body organ and skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Basal cell and squamous cell cancers rarely spread to other parts of the body and are highly curable. Melanoma, however, claims the lives of thousands of Americans every year. Dermatologists recommend that individuals limit their exposure to the sun and use sunscreen regularly.

Screening: Screening for skin cancer is visual. Check your skin for new lesions or changes in the appearance of moles. For hard to see areas, enlist the help of a significant other, a mirror, or your physician.

Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is rare, but when it strikes it is usually in young men (ages 15-34 years). It is more common in Whites than African Americans. It can usually be cured even when advanced.

Screening: Most testicular cancers are found by men themselves either by chance or when doing a self-exam. The American Cancer Society recommends that all men have a testicular exam when they see a doctor for a routine physical. Some doctors recommend that men check themselves regularly for lumps, bumps or other changes in their testicles.

Penile and Anal Cancers

It is estimated that over 2,000 men will be diagnosed with anal cancer in 2012. About 1,500 will be diagnosed with cancer of the penis. Thirty-five percent of penile cancers and 95% of anal cancers are linked to the human papilloma virus (HPV). Men who have sex with men are at increased risk for anal cancer. Penile and anal cancers should become even less common as more males receive HPV vaccine. This vaccine is recommended for both males and females between 9 and 26 years of age.

Screening: Screening for these cancers is generally by visual inspection. Unusual areas (discoloration, irritation, sores, and lumps) on the penis could indicate cancer. Pain, itching, skin changes, or lumps near the anus could be signs of cancer in this area. Bleeding or discharge from the anus or changes in bowel habits are also symptoms of anal cancer. Men who have sex with men should speak with their doctors about additional screening methods for anal cancer.

Additional things you should know:

Does Medicaid cover cancer screening tests? How can I apply?

Where can I get help paying for screening tests?

New York State’s Cancer Services Program may be able to help cover the cost of fecal immunochemical testing (FIT) and colonoscopy. Call 1-866-442-2262 for more information.

Where can I get vaccinated for HPV?

Many physicians provide HPV vaccine for their male patients. If you are unable to obtain this vaccine in your doctor’s office and are under the age of 19, contact Ontario County Public Health at 1-800-299-2995.

I understand that smoking can lead to lung cancer. Where can I get help quitting?

For a free personalized quit plan call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) or call the New York State's Quitline.