Medical advice for the macho man
If you’re like most men, a trip to the doctor’s office probably doesn’t rank high on your “to do” list. In fact, you’ve probably thought of any excuse to get out of that routine screening. But remember this: For every excuse, there’s a reason. Dr. Marshall McHenry gives you the facts to combat any excuse standing between you and the doctor.
“I feel great.”
Show your doctor how healthy you truly are instead of making a first impression when you’re sick. Routine exams, starting in the early 20s, provide a great benchmark for your overall health. “Testosterone doesn’t make you invincible,” says Dr. McHenry, a board-certified internal medicine physician with The Christ Hospital Medical Associates. “The only way to be sure you’re in good health is by making a trip to the doctor’s office.”
Now’s the time to put that machismo to good use. Regular doctor visits make it easier to catch cancer and other chronic diseases early. Plus, it gives you the chance to discuss your health concerns privately. Men should receive screening exams every two to three years in their late teens and 20s; every other year in their 30s; and every year after age 40.
Here’s a sample of the screenings every man needs:
- 20s – Get a baseline physical, including a cholesterol and blood pressure screening; skin cancer screening; flu shot and other immunizations; and blood sugar check if you’re at risk for diabetes.
- 30s – Continue with semi-annual physicals, skin cancer screenings, and early prostate or colonoscopy screenings if you’re high risk. Recheck cholesterol levels every five years.
- 40s – Schedule a prostate exam and PSA test, a complete metabolic and lipid profile, and a colonoscopy if you’re at high risk for colon cancer.
- 50s – Get a colonoscopy, heart calcium score screening, and continue with follow-up prostate screenings.
- 60+ – Schedule a baseline bone density test and your routine screenings for prostate, colon and skin cancer.
It’s not nearly as awkward as being told it could have been prevented. Whether your college son needs an STD test or you’re due for a prostate exam, a few uncomfortable minutes for screening can spare you the embarrassment later.
You do your job; let the medical experts do theirs. “We can help detect illnesses early, as well as treat things that can improve quality of life,” Dr. McHenry says. “If we can give you some perspective on a distracting symptom or treat an illness, it’s worth your time.”
Man up and find a physician by calling 1-877-904-4YOU or visiting www.TheChristHospital.com.