Nyack, N.Y. May 31, 2013 - So many men don’t see a doctor until they are already sick—sometimes with conditions such as heart disease that might have been prevented with proper care. Men often think there’s no reason to see a doctor if they are feeling fine. Even if they don’t feel well, they may be inclined to “tough it out,” even though many conditions can get worse if not promptly treated. They may say they don’t have time, or they may simply not have a loved one around to remind them—over and over, if needed—to make an appointment.
During Men’s Health Week, which leads up to Father’s Day, it is a great time to encourage the men in your life to get a checkup. Many major health problems that are common in men can be prevented through lifestyle changes, early detection and treatment.
Doctor visits commonly include tests for the following conditions:
- High blood pressure. A blood pressure check is a routine part of most doctor visits.
- High cholesterol. Routine cholesterol screening every five years is recommended for all men 35 and up, or for men 20 or older if they have other heart disease risk factors such as diabetes or a family history of heart disease.
- Diabetes. By age 45, men should have a blood sugar test for diabetes. Men who are on their way to developing diabetes can prevent the disease, or keep it under control, through early lifestyle changes.
- Colorectal cancer, beginning at age 50—earlier if there is a family history of the disease or for people who have inflammatory bowel disease. Tests for colon cancer and precancerous polyps are recommended beginning at age 50. These tests include colonoscopy, which should be done every 10 years, or flexible sigmoidoscopy, which should be done every five years.
- Prostate cancer. There is currently no consensus on when prostate cancer testing should be done—this is an issue men should discuss with their doctor.
- Lung cancer. Smokers or former smokers ages 55 to 74 should ask their doctor whether they are candidates for lung cancer screening.
Your doctor may also recommend immunizations, including a tetanus booster every 10 years for men over 50, annual flu shots, and a pneumococcal vaccine for those over 65.
If you’ve been putting off seeing the doctor, remember you can catch “silent” illnesses early, before they cause harm or even death. Taking care of yourself will allow you to care for your loved ones.
About Nyack Hospital
Nyack Hospital is a 375-bed community acute care medical and surgical hospital located in Rockland County, NY. Founded in 1895, it is a member of the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System, an affiliate of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and has partnered with Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine providing clinical rotations to third-year medical students. Its mission is to provide competent, innovative and accessible emergency and acute care services to the residents of Rockland County and surrounding areas.