June is Men’s Health Awareness Month!

Men’s Health Issues

In general, men delay seeking healthcare until absolutely necessary. About 40% of men with chronic health conditions do not see their provider at least annually and 38% admit to waiting until they are extremely sick before seeking care. This translates in illness, disease and injury states being treated in a much more severe stage than if regular screenings and checkups had been obtained.

Basic screenings recommended for Men

Colon Cancer– screenings vis colonoscopy should begin at age 50. If there is a family history of colon cancer, screenings should begin earlier.

Depression– it’s normal to feel “down” from time to time. Men have a tendency to view admitting to feelings of depression as a sign of weakness… this is totally untrue! Depression and anxiety have many different manifestations and men should seek care from their PCP if they are experiencing outbursts of anger, prolonged periods of sadness, feelings of anxiety, or loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities. There are many different alternatives for addressing depression and talking with your health care provider is the best place to start!

Diabetes– all men should begin screening for Diabetes at age 45. Screenings should begin earlier if he is experiencing other risk factors such as high blood pressure, being overweight, or showing signs/symptoms of elevated blood glucose.

High Blood Pressure– risk of stroke and heart disease dramatically increase if blood pressures are consistently elevated. Every man should have his blood pressure checked at least every 2 years if readings have been previously in normal range (120/80). For men who have been diagnosed with elevated blood pressures (>135/85) the interval increases to at least yearly and those who have been prescribed medications to treat high blood pressure should follow scheduled screening recommended by their provider.

High Cholesterol– beginning at age 35 men should have their cholesterol levels checked yearly. Men who have risk factors for heart disease should begin screening sooner.

Cancer– if a man has a history of tobacco use or working in an industry known for increasing lung cancer risk, even if no symptoms of cancer are present, routine screenings should begin between the age of 55.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men but least likely to cause death. This is due to the extremely slow progression of the disease. Men who have a family history of cancer and are showing signs of enlarged prostate should talk with their health care provider about when recommended screenings.

Testicular cancer is also a concern for men aged 20-54. Men can perform self-testicular exams monthly to be alert for any abnormalities that may be developing and discuss any concerns with their PCP.

Erectile Dysfunction– as men age ED becomes more common. As many as 40% of men over 40 experience ED and when a man reached age 70 that percentage increases to 70%. There are many contributing factors to ED including clogged arteries, stress, depression, and low testosterone. Sometimes medications used to manage other diseases can contribute to ED. Men who experience regular episodes of ED should address this concern with their health care provider to determine the underlying cause and rule out other serious issues.

These issues discussed above can be prevented and treated successfully with regular health checkups and routine screenings. If you are in need of a Primary Care Provider who will listen to your concerns and provide guidance for recommended screenings and treatment options, LFHC is here to help. Contact our office today to set up an appointment to discuss your health concerns!