Press Release

June 17, 2009


State Public Health Director Calls on Illinois Men to Take Charge of Their Health

State Health Department sponsored activities promoting men’s health held during Men’s Health Week: June 15-21, 2009

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 15-21 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.

“During Men’s Health Week, we must recognize that this is not just about men, it’s about entire families. 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 9 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 8,100 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in Illinois during 2009 and an estimated 1,400 Illinois men will die from it. Across the United States, 240,000 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.

To encourage men over age 40 to get screened for prostate cancer, the Illinois Department of Public Health partnered with the Chicago White Sox and Ed Randall’s Bat for the Cure last Wednesday to provide free prostate cancer screenings to more than 100 men outside Cellular Field. As an incentive, men who were screened for prostate cancer received 2 free tickets to an upcoming 2009 White Sox game.

In recognition of Men’s Health Week, the Illinois Department of Public Health is also sponsoring the following events throughout the state:

  • Friday, June 19 - Jazz Up Your Life – Healthy Men; Healthy Lifestyles
    Hilton Garden Inn, Springfield
    5:30 p.m.
  • Friday, June 19 - Stand Up and Stand Out Against Prostate Cancer
    Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church
    616 N. 58th Street, East St. Louis
    10:00 am.
  • Saturday, June  20 - Thapelo Institute’s 7th Annual African-American Male Health and Fitness Expo
    Malcolm X College, 1900 W. Van Buren Street, Chicago
    9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    • The event includes a wide range of health seminars and free screenings to include prostate cancer screenings, glucose, cholesterol, kidney disease, blood pressure, body mass index, and HIV.
  • Sunday, June 21 (Father’s Day) – 20th Annual Real Men Cook event
    Kennedy King College, Chicago
    3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
    • In conjunction with Real Men Cook’s annual Father’s Day event, IDPH will sponsor a health and wellness pavilion – which will include information on healthy cooking, fitness, family wellness, bone marrow donation, prostate cancer, and free screenings to include glucose, blood pressure, and HIV.

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 is below:

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 15-21, 2009 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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