While many men tend to avoid the doctor’s office until serious illness or injury strikes, there’s nothing macho about dying from an avoidable disease because you didn’t get preventive healthcare.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, more than half of American men have not seen their primary care physician for an annual exam in the past year. Unfortunately, men who avoid the physician’s office are still susceptible to heart disease, cancer and stroke—three of the leading causes of death for men in the United States.
Getting Screened for Longer Life
To stay on top of your health and to help catch any developing conditions before symptoms arise, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends:
- Regular cholesterol screenings for most men age 35 or older. A leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke, high cholesterol has no symptoms. If you use tobacco, are overweight or have a family history of heart disease or stroke, you may need to start screening earlier.
- Blood pressure tests every two years. High blood pressure, a risk factor for diabetes, heart failure and kidney problems, also presents no symptoms.
- Lung cancer screenings for some current or former smokers. These are recommended for those between ages 55 and 80 whose smoking history in pack-years (number of years as a smoker times number of packs a day) is higher than 30 and who still smoke or have quit in the past 15 years.
- Periodic mental health screenings. In the past two weeks, have you experienced feelings of sadness, helplessness or unexplained anger that have affected your daily life? Ask your physician if you could benefit from treatment for depression.
- Telling your physician about any changes you’ve noticed. You know your body better than anyone. If you notice a change in your hearing, vision, mental state or a mole, talk to your provider about it.
Depending on your screening results, your physician can recommend preventive medicine, procedures or lifestyle changes that can help keep you healthy for years to come.
Your primary care physician is the perfect partner for better health. To find one near you, visit parkridgehealth.com/physicians..