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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 8, 2008

Governor Blagojevich proclaims June 9th - June 15th Men’s Health Week in Illinois; announces Step Up to the Plate events in partnership with Minor League Baseball

CHICAGO –   Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today proclaimed the week of June 9th to June 15th as Men’s Health Week in Illinois, encouraging men throughout the state to recognize the importance of a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and medical check-ups.  Throughout Men’s Health Week, members of the Blagojevich Administration will join minor league baseball teams around Illinois for the Step Up to the Plate campaign to get the word out about preventable health problems, and encourage early detection and treatment among men and boys.  During Men’s Health Week, men young and old are encouraged to check out the new men’s health Web site www.illinois.gov/menshealth.
 
“Living longer and better requires a healthy lifestyle.  Getting exercise and eating right is an important start, but staying healthy also requires regular check-ups and screenings,” said Gov. Blagojevich.  “During Men’s Health Week, let’s remember that this is not just about men, it’s about entire families.  I’m pleased minor league baseball is joining us to get the word out to Illinois families that men need to take time to take care of their health.”
 
The Blagojevich Administration will be holding Step Up to the Plate men’s health events at the following games this week:
·        Monday, June 9: Quad Cities River Bandits (Davenport, IA)
·        Tuesday, June 10:  Peoria Cheifs (Peoria, IL)
·        Thursday June 12:  Gateway Grizzlies (Sauget, IL)
·        Friday, June 13:  Southern Illinois Miners (Marion, IL)
                   
The men’s health Web site, www.illinois.gov/menshealth includes information about getting screened, self checkups, the top 10 diseases that affect men, tips for healthy living, frequently asked questions, and additional resources.
 
“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.”
 
Prostate cancer is a primary focus of the campaign.  It is the most common cancer, other than skin cancers, in American men.  In 2008, The American Cancer Society estimates that about 186,320 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and approximately 28,660 men will die of prostate cancer.  The Illinois State Cancer Registry estimates approximately 8,340 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in Illinois during 2008 and 1,330 men will die from it.  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.
 
Here are some health statistics men may not be aware of:
 
·        On average, men live six 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
 
The men’s health campaign is an effort to raise awareness and inform men and their families about some common health problems they may face, and to encourage them to take advantage of early screening and follow-up.  For more information, log onto www.illinois.gov/menshealth.
 
 
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; 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 recognize the importance of a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and medical check-ups:
 
THEREFORE, I, Rod R. Blagojevich, Governor of the State of Illinois, do hereby proclaim June 9-15, 2008 as MEN’S HEALTH WEEK in Illinois, and encourage all citizens to pursue preventative health practices and early detection efforts.


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