June is Men’s Health Month, a chance for both men and women to increase
their awareness of the potentially significant health problems that men
face, as well as what steps you can take to prevent such problems. Taking
care of yourself is part of being the best man you can be.
One of the most dangerous challenges men face is a general reluctance to
seek care for health complications or routine check-ups. In fact, according
to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), men are 24%(percent)
less likely than women to have seen a doctor in the past year.
“Men experience different, but no less serious, health problems than
women,” said Maureene Andrews, Physician Assistant at Catawba Valley
Family Medicine – Viewmont. “Heart disease, cancer, and accidents
(unintentional injuries) are the top causes of death for men. The most
commonly diagnosed cancers among men include prostate, lung, and colorectal.”
With the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more emphasis is being placed on screening
tests to detect diseases earlier when they are easier to treat. Andrews
encourages men to resist the tendency to avoid seeing doctors and check
with their primary care provider to start having regular checkups and
screenings for conditions such as colon and prostate cancer, high blood
pressure and diabetes.
Being active in your own health can help you stay one step ahead of some
of the things that put you at risk for discomfort and disease. Ask your
primary care provider about how often you should come in for a checkup.
And, if there’s something that’s bothering you – a new
ache or pain that’s hanging around for more than a week –
or getting worse, check in with your health care provider.
“Don’t overlook your annual flu shot,” said Andrews.
“This protects you from the most likely strains to hit that particular
season. And, if you have certain medical complications or you’re
over 65, you should also get a shot to prevent pneumonia.”
Andrews is now scheduling patients Catawba Valley Family Medicine –
Viewmont. Make an appointment with her or talk with your own primary care
provider about which immunizations and screening are best for you. Located at 221 13th Ave. Pl. NW, Suite 202, Hickory NC 28601, appointments are available by