If you're like most men, you avoid the doctor at all costs–but you shouldn't!
Men's Health Week is observed each year in the days leading up to Father's Day. This is a great time for all you guys to focus on your health and take stock of where you are. Preventive care plays a key role in keeping you healthy. Not only does it provide peace of mind, but it also assures that problems can be caught early–when treatment is most effective.
Here are some checkups you should schedule on a regular basis:
- Physical exam: Every man needs an annual checkup, no matter what his age. Have an open, honest relationship with your doctor and talk to him about any worries you have. He'll check your height/weight, which is important for a number of health issues, and monitor your blood pressure. Remember that high blood pressure has no symptoms but can lead to heart disease, so it's never too early to know your numbers.
- Cholesterol check: Most experts suggest you check your cholesterol at least every five years. High numbers can lead to heart disease and stroke, so talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes and medication, as needed.
- Cancer screenings: Discuss a screening schedule with your physician and make sure you're watching out for skin, colon, testicular, and prostate cancer, among others.
- Electrocardiogram: Depending on your age and risk factors, you may benefit from an EKG. This test can check for heart problems, one of the biggest concerns that men have.
- Dental, vision, and hearing tests: These may seem very basic, but they're very important! Dental cleanings keep your teeth in good shape and fight bacteria. Vision screenings are necessary, especially as your eyes change with age. Hearing tests can ensure that you stay sharp as the years go by.
As you age, you may also need to be screened for osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease, and diabetes. Be sure to keep an open line of communication with your doctor and report any symptoms you're having. Remember, a lot of people are counting on you! Stay healthy, so you're a part of their lives for many years to come.
If you have questions, the team at St. Lucie Medical Center can help. Check out our Men's Health section of our Healthy Library. And if you need a physician referral, just call our Consult-A-Nurse service at 1-800-449-8345.