We know scheduling a prostate cancer screening isn’t on the top of your “to-do” list today, but now is the perfect opportunity to share why a conversation with your primary care physician is a task to check off the list this month.
June is Men’s Health Month; a great time to advocate for men to live healthier and happier lives. How? By taking control of your health in an effort to detect and treat preventable health problems.
Getting started isn’t hard, and it takes just a few minutes to schedule a visit with your physician. Being proactive about scheduling annual check-ups and screenings is important, especially for men over 35. Have a conversation with your physician and be open to the course of treatment to help make the most of your appointment and treatment.
Have A Heart-to-Heart
Did you know it is the leading cause of death for men in the United States, according to the American Heart Association? High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease, and most Americans have at least one of these conditions. Expect to have a cholesterol test and blood pressure screening. If intervention is needed, do your part. Simple changes can help improve your heart numbers.
Schedule That Screening
Early detection can save your life. If you are in your mid-40s, your physician is going to recommend a colon cancer screening. According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) and American Cancer Society (ACS), it is now recommended that all average-risk patients be screened starting at 45 via colonoscopy. Men 50 to 75, who are not at an increased risk for colon cancer, are encouraged to have a colonoscopy every 10 years, as long as results continue to be normal.
Another one we hear about often is prostate cancer screening. Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men in the U.S. (outside of skin cancer). One in eight men will be diagnosed during his lifetime. It is a serious disease, but it isn’t usually deadly – as long as it’s diagnosed. Men with a higher risk of developing prostate cancer can be screened at 40; men at average risk of prostate cancer and are expected to live at least 10 more years can begin prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood testing at 50. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends an in-depth conversation with your physician about being screened for prostate cancer to understand the uncertainties,
Make your health a priority with a visit to a primary care physician. Be ready to make small changes in your lifestyle. It is never too late to improve your health and start celebrating.
Kenneth Betzing, MPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA, CHRISTUS Primary Care Partners Shreveport-Bossier. Kenneth specializes in Family Medicine. Specializing in overall health, managing chronic illnesses like hypertension or diabetes and wellness with regular screenings and exams, Kenneth is eager to treat patients in the Shreveport-Bossier community.