Healthy Tahoe: Preserving vitality for men
Women, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, are 33% more likely than men to visit a doctor, and 100% more likely to have an annual exam.
Considering most serious issues like diabetes and prostate cancer can be avoided by early detection and lifestyle management, it’s important for men to participate in general screenings to identify issues needing attention early on.
Men and women alike are encouraged to visit their primary care provider at least once a year for a physical exam; as June is Men’s Health Month, it’s a great reminder to call and schedule your annual exam. During a physical exam, your PCP will talk through your medical and family history, check vital signs, evaluate stress and discuss your nutrition, diet and exercise. Your PCP may recommend a blood test — a small sample of blood is taken and analyzed in a lab — the results can show whether levels of substances in your body fall within a normal range.
Abnormal blood test results might be a sign of a disorder or disease. Other factors — such as diet, fitness level, alcohol and drug intake — also can cause abnormal results. Blood tests can detect things like high cholesterol or whether you are at high risk for heart disease. The results may or may not suggest a health problem, but early detection can help identify health problems in early stages, when treatments or lifestyle changes may work best.
All men are at risk for prostate cancer, and the risk increases with age. More men die each year of prostate cancer than of any other cancer except lung cancer. Additionally, colon cancer is often diagnosed at a very late stage due to the lack of symptoms, thus often called the “silent killer.” Both diseases may be detected with a screening.
It may not feel easy to talk about health, but a simple conversation with your doctor could keep you from developing chronic issues. Participate in general health screenings at the recommended intervals so that you can continue to live life to the fullest.
Dr. Steven Brooks is a board-certified Primary Care Provider with Barton Primary Care at Stateline Medical Center. Talk to your primary care provider about recommended screenings or establish one by visiting BartonHealth.org/PrimaryCare.
Once a month, Barton Health offers its affordable, cash pay Wellness Lab Draw Program- the wellness lab panel includes 22 tests and starts at $50. Learn more or schedule an appointment online at BartonHealth.org/Lab.
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