Men usually take it upon themselves to be leaders and breadwinners for their families, responsibilities requiring them to stay strong and healthy. But men are also known to put off doctor’s visits as long as possible, even when they feel ill, leaving them vulnerable to sickness and disease that can impact their ability to take care of their families.
Think of all the people who rely on you in life — your spouse, children, siblings, parents, coworkers, friends, etc. Don’t let them down by failing to take care of your health; take steps now to get and stay healthy, if not for yourself, then for those who count on you.
1. Don’t Put Off Regular Checkups
When you feel good, it’s easy to put off that dreaded trip to the doctor. But in most cases, getting regular checkups before you feel bad can allow your physician to detect and effectively control diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, which are more difficult to treat in advanced stages.
Not convinced you need a physical? Take these stats from the Men’s Health Network into consideration:
- Men live about five years less than their female counterparts.
- Men have a higher death rate for most of the leading causes of death, including cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
- Men only make about half as many physician visits for prevention as women.
Don’t like the sound of these statistics? Call your primary care physician to schedule an appointment!
2. Make Colon Cancer Prevention a Priority
Cancer is responsible for 24 percent of male deaths, making it the second leading cause of death among men behind heart disease, according to the CDC. Colon cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men, but it doesn’t have to be; it’s one of the most preventable cancers with regular screenings, such as colonoscopy.
Colon cancer usually does not exhibit any symptoms during its early stages, when it’s most treatable, which makes it vital to get screened even if you feel healthy. Since the risk of colon cancer increases with age, doctors recommend getting screened beginning at age 50, or earlier if you have other risk factors, such as a family history of colon cancer or colon polyps. Find out if you’re at risk, or get screened now.
3. Start the Conversation
Health may not be a main topic for discussion among most men, but it should be. Make it a point to start a conversation with other men in your life — sons, fathers, brothers, nephews, friends, co-workers, etc. — about the importance of checkups and preventive health exams.
By simply sparking discussion, you could save a life.