Regardless of age, studies show that men are 24 percent less likely than women to visit the doctor on a regular basis. In the spirit of Father’s Day, we encourage dads to give themselves the gift of health with regular check ups and conversations with your physician. For men over the age of 50, consider the following from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality:
- You could very well save your life if you get a screening test for colorectal cancer. Research now shows that 45 percent of colorectal cancers in the US are preventable each year through diet, staying at a healthy weight and being physically active. Tests such as a stool test or a colonoscopy can detect this cancer. While this might make you squeamish, avoiding it could be a life or death matter. Talk with your provider to determine the best steps for you. (And don’t forget the exercise.)
- If you’ve been a smoker (smoked 100 or more cigarette’s in your lifetime), talk to your provider about being issues you might need to pay attention to. We don’t believe in screening for screening sake, we do know that some key screenings might be able to address a worsening issue.
- Get screened for diabetes (high blood sugar) with a blood test if you have high blood pressure or take medication for high blood pressure. And keep in mind the foods you eat, even the ones you don’t believe have sugar, are likely processed as sugars (grain products, cereals, crackers and chips) and can add to issues you may be experiencing.
- Have your cholesterol (lipids) and prostate specific antigen (PSA) checked regularly with a blood test. High blood cholesterol increases your chance of heart disease, stroke and poor circulation. A low PSA can lead to many quality of life issues.
- Have your blood pressure checked at least every two years. High blood pressure can cause strokes, heart attacks, kidney and eye problems and heart failure.
- If you are younger than 65 or were born between 1945 and 1965, a Hepatitis C Virus and HIV screening is recommended.
- Keep up to date on proper immunizations such as an annual flu shot. Every 10 years consider a shot for tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough – especially if you’re a grandpa around newborns. If you are 60 or older, get a shot to prevent shingles. If you are 65 or older, get a pneumonia shot.
Additional items to keep in check as you cross the 50-year-old threshold include lung cancer, obesity and depression.
Innovative Primary Care can conduct preliminary screenings for many of these items during an annual wellness exam. Starting in July, we will have a phlebotomist who can conduct lab draws within the office for your convenience.
Husbands, Dads, Uncles, Brothers and Sons, we want you healthy and invite you to schedule a visit today with any of our providers. If you feel more comfortable with a male provider, Dr. Chinwah and Physician’s Assistant Todd Schuster, are usually available for appointments within the week you call.