We all know the stereotype: men hate to go to the doctor. But the data show that stereotype has a basis in reality. Most of the health problems that men suffer are preventable—with regular trips to the doctor. Since September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, now is a good time to talk about that disease, and others that guys can avoid with routine check-ups and health screenings.
Start Early to Stay Healthy
Heart disease and diabetes rank among the most common afflictions for men. These conditions also contribute to men’s risk for other illnesses. Maintaining a healthy heart starts in young adulthood, with proper eating habits and regular exercise. Meanwhile, men can get into the habit of annual check-ups.
- Once a year, head to the doctor for a general physical. Be sure to update family medical history, since this can impact your own medical predispositions. The doctor should check weight, blood pressure, and other general health factors.
- Starting at age 20, men should get their cholesterol checked at least every two years. If it’s high, the doctor may recommend more frequent checks until the numbers drop to a normal range.
- Anyone who spends time outdoors may need a yearly trip to the dermatologist. Men who are especially prone to skin cancer, such as those with fair skin, will want to make this a priority.
- Keep regular tabs
Keep the Momentum Going
As our bodies age, our physical needs also change. Think of your body as a car that needs regular tune-ups. Over time, it might need a little more preventative maintenance, as parts begin to wear down. That means men need to add a few steps to their annual check-up routine.
- Most men will need to start getting annual screening for colon cancer around age 40. Family history may mean that some men start earlier. Talk to your doctor about different screening options.
- Starting at age 45, men should get screened for diabetes every three years. This one is especially important, since diabetes contributes to glaucoma and other medical conditions.
- Talk to your doctor about when to begin screening for prostate cancer. Your physician will let you know the best method and the right time, based on family history and other factors.
If you have questions about men’s health, please contact us at Central Florida Regional Hospital. Visit our Men’s Health Library online or call Consult-a-Nurse® at 1-800-445-3392 for answers to your questions and free physician referrals.