Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Closing out Black History month with a Message for the Brutha's

The need to address health care disparities in black men is supreme in light of the fact we have the lowest life expectancy of any group in the U.S. There are many barriers to accessing healthcare that exist for black men which include socioeconomic status, masculinity/machismo, racism, lack of awareness of the need for primary care, religious beliefs, peer influences and FEAR. As singular entities, these may not appear unique, but when viewed collectively, they represent an overwhelming assemblage of obstacles for Black men. While all these barriers exist, we also know we can overcome them if we choose to.

Our survival in many cases is directly related to the choices we make. Our families depend on us, and we owe it to the one’s we love to take care of ourselves. Begin to choose LIFE. If something seems “off” and symptoms persist, seek out medical care from a trusted medical professional. If fear of the unknown is your personal obstacle, get a family member or close friend to help you along the way to seeking out the care you need. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help! At the very least, get an annual health screening which include: Colorectal and Prostate check (for men over 50), Diabetes screening, Cholesterol, Blood pressure and STD’s. Doing so will not only make you and your family feel better, but whatever the result, you can move forward. Movement is the key. Even if something is detected, you can begin treatment. In most instances, when medical conditions are diagnosed early, the chances of survival increase. And lastly, looking good/healthy on the outside (being buff), doesn’t always mean you're healthy inside. Don’t get it twisted! Whatever it is, it’s always better to know!

–Message of the day, the month and the year!
--Ocean Morisset, Cancer Survivor

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