“Men and women are vulnerable to many of the same diseases, but the prognosis for men is often worse than it is for women,” says Jenna Van Dusen, DO, a primary care physician with Buffalo Medical Group.

According to WebMD, out of the 15 leading causes of death, men lead women in just about all of them, with the exception of Alzheimer’s disease. “While it may not be possible to prevent every illness or condition, being aware of the issues that affect men should encourage them to take a proactive approach to improving their health,” says Dr. Van Dusen.

Cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease is a major issue for men. The American Heart Association suggests that heart disease is likely to remain the world’s leading cause of death. In the United States alone, heart disease is responsible for one in four deaths among men. Half of those individuals have no symptoms to alert them to problems. Smoking, obesity, diabetes, physical inactivity, and excessive alcohol consumption contribute to cardiovascular disease. Men should routinely have their blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked, and have frank conversations with doctors about heart disease risk.

Lung cancer.

Lung cancer is a significant concern for men. Lung cancer can spread early, usually before it grows large enough to cause symptoms or even show up on diagnostic testing. WebMD says tobacco smoke causes 90% of all lung cancers. Fewer men now die of lung cancer thanks to falling smoking rates, but more work is needed. Men and women alike should realize the most effective way to avoid lung cancer is to never smoke.


More than half a billion people around the world have diabetes, according to the Cleveland Clinic, and the numbers keep growing. Left untreated, high blood sugar levels can lead to heart disease. Lifestyle changes and medications can help people manage diabetes and decrease the risk of disease progression and serious illness.

Prostate cancer.

Apart from skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. WebMD says close to 200,000 men in the United States will develop prostate cancer this year. Although many prostate cancers are slow-growing, others can be aggressive, so abnormalities in health should always be discussed with doctors who can map out a plan and see if treatment is necessary.

Testicular cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 35. Testicular cancer is very treatable if caught early. The most common sign of testicular cancer is a painless lump in the testicle.

“Being aware of issues that are threatening to their overall health can help men take steps to live longer and healthier,” says Dr. Van Dusen, who is currently accepting new patients. If you are looking for a new primary care provider, or would like to schedule your annual physical exam with Dr. Van Dusen or another Buffalo Medical Group primary care provider, visit www.buffalomedicalgroup.com, or call 716-630-1000