Press Release

June 15, 2010


State Public Health Director Encourages Illinois Men to Take Charge of Their Health

 State Health Department participates in activities to promote men’s health during Men’s Health Week: June 14-20, 2010

CHICAGO, Ill. – Dr. Damon T. Arnold, Illinois Department of Public Health Director and a prostate cancer survivor, is urging men throughout the state to recognize the importance of a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and medical check-ups. In an effort to raise awareness about issues affecting men’s health, including heart disease, diabetes, prostate, testicular and colon cancer, Governor Quinn proclaimed the week of June 14-20 as Men’s Health Week in Illinois. Men's Health Week is celebrated each year as the week leading up to and including Father's Day with the goal of raising awareness of preventable health problems and encouraging early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.

“Men’s Health Week is a great reminder to all men that they need to take their health seriously. Men today face many health and wellness issues, and it’s important they take the time to visit their doctors for a checkup,” said Dr. Arnold. “The outcome of prostate cancer, as well as many other health conditions, depends on early detection and treatment. That’s why it is important for men and their families to be aware of available screening options and other necessary information.”

Dr. Arnold reminds men that along with regular screenings and checkups, men should eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, reduce stress, keep alcohol consumption to moderate levels and reduce or stop using tobacco.

Here are some health statistics men may not be aware of:

  • On average, men live approximately five years less than women
  • 1 in 4 men has high blood pressure
  • 1 in 5 men can expect to have a heart attack before the age of 65
  • 1 in 6 men will develop prostate cancer
  • 1 in 12 men can expect to develop diabetes
  • 1 in 22 men will suffer from depression some time during his life

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer. Prostate cancer accounts for about 11 percent of cancer-related deaths in men. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer, other than skin cancers, in American men. The Illinois State Cancer Registry estimates approximately 9,030 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in Illinois during 2010 and an estimated 1,330 Illinois men will die from it. Across the United States, approximately 218,000 new cases of prostate cancer are expected this year. One in four African-American men will develop the disease, those with a family history of prostate cancer are at an even higher risk.

In recognition of Men’s Health Week, the Illinois Department of Public Health is sponsoring the following event:

  • Saturday, June 19 – 1 st Annual Southland Men’s Health Conference - Make Health A Family Affair
    Oak Forest Hospital - 15900 South Cicero Avenue, Oak Forest
    9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
    • The event features educational panel discussions on prostate health, cardiovascular disease, and healthy relationships. Free health screenings will be provided during the event, including screening for prostate cancer, glucose, cholesterol, kidney disease, blood pressure, body mass index, and HIV testing.

For more information on Men’s Health, visit the state’s men’s health Web site, The Web site includes information about getting screened, self checkups, the top 10 diseases that affect men, tips for healthy living, frequently asked questions, and additional resources.

The text of the Governor’s proclamation follows:

WHEREAS, despite advances in medical technology and research, men continue to live an average of almost six years less than women, with African-American men having the lowest life expectancy; and

WHEREAS, recognizing and preventing men’s health problems is not just a man’s issue. Because of its impact on wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters, men’s health is truly a family issue; and

WHEREAS, educating the public and health care providers about the importance of a healthy lifestyle and early detection of male health problems will help to reduce rates of mortality from disease, improve overall health, and save health care dollars; and

WHEREAS, men who are educated about the value of preventative health will be more likely to participate in health screening; and

WHEREAS, the Men’s Health Network worked with Congress to develop National Men’s Health Week - the week leading up to and including Father’s Day - as a special campaign to help educate men and their families about the importance of positive health attitudes and preventative health practices; and

WHEREAS, Men’s Health Week will raise awareness of a broad range of men’s health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, prostate, testicular and colon cancer; and

WHEREAS, all of the citizens of this state are encouraged to recognize the importance of a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and medical check-ups:

THEREFORE, I, Pat Quinn, Governor of the State of Illinois, do hereby proclaim June 14-20, 2010 as MEN’S HEALTH WEEK in Illinois, and encourage all citizens to pursue preventative health practices and early detection efforts.

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Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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