Preventative care and keeping up to date with screenings can ensure health issues are addressed quickly. Sponsored by Swedish.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 13% of men over the age of 18 have fair or poor health. Men’s Health Month is a good reminder to see a doctor and discuss any health issues or concerns.
“There are actually studies that say 70% of men would rather do household chores or yard things than go to the doctor,” Dr. James Kuan, Medical Director of Swedish Urology told First Hill. “However, it’s important for men to take that first step to go to the doctor, because we can’t provide preventative health care if we only see you when you’re not feeling well.”
Establishing a relationship with a primary care physician can help you identify any issues early. It’s important to have regular wellness checkups to stay on top of your health.
If you’re anxious about going to the doctor, know that it’s normal and you’re not alone. Tell the medical assistant, nurse, or doctor that you are nervous so they can help you better manage your visit. Bring a loved one to be a second pair of eyes and ears, and make a list of questions ahead of time to ensure that all your concerns are discussed.
Cancer screenings save lives, and a primary care physician will help you determine which screenings you should have based on your age and family history.
- If you are a current or former smoker between the ages of 50 and 80 and have a smoking history of 20 packs per year (or more), your doctor may recommend a low-dose CT scan that screens for lung cancer at a early stage.
- Screening for prostate cancer usually begins in a man’s 50s, but will sometimes begin in a man’s 40s if he is African American or has a close family history. Screening will usually consist of a prostate exam to assess for lumps and abnormalities and a blood test known as a PSA.
- Colorectal cancer screenings (often colonoscopies) begin at age 45 for average-risk men and may be earlier for those with a family history or pre-existing conditions.
Sexual health is another topic that many men want to discuss, but may put off talking to a doctor.
“A lot of men opt for something else when what they really wanted to talk about is sexual health,” Dr. Kuan said.
Make a specific appointment to discuss your sexual health or let the admissions staff know that you would like to discuss the topic so your doctor can make time.
As a urologist, Dr. Kuan is focused on helping men recover from prostate cancer and lead normal lives after treatment has left them with urinary or sexual problems.
“It’s a very rewarding part of my practice that I can give this back because no man asks for prostate cancer,” Dr. Kuan said.
If you have postponed care or need follow-up, schedule an appointment today at Swedish primary care website.