June is Men’s Health Month. On average, men die five years younger than women, and die at higher rates from nine of the top 10 causes of death, according to the Centers for Disease Control. All of this impacts their ability to be involved fathers, supportive partners and engaged community members.
Many men fall short when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. Still, that’s not a good reason to put off making changes in your life that can help lower your risk of some serious diseases.
“To start to prioritize your health, you need a primary care provider, such as a family physician or an internist, that you trust, says Aspirus oncologist Dr. Niaz Haque. “You might ask your friends for recommendations. Whether you feel more comfortable with a male or a female provider is totally up to you.”
Your PCP can give you regular checkups and help make sure you get the care you need, which may include:
Health screenings. You may feel fine, and you may be healthy. Or you could have a silent health problem, like high blood pressure, and not even know it.
Your PCP can use screening tests to detect some diseases before they cause symptoms, when they’re often easier to control or treat. For example, you may need to be screened for high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes or colon cancer.
Vaccines. Are you due for a tetanus booster? A shingles shot? Do you get a flu vaccine every year? Getting recommended vaccinations can help you avoid painful and serious diseases.
Advice for a healthy life. Your PCP can help with goals like eating right, exercising regularly, losing weight and quitting tobacco.