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June 7, 2018

Men: What Can You Do to Stay Healthy?

Men: What Can You Do to Stay Healthy?

“Men, Get it Checked,” is the call to action for “Men’s Health Month” 2018. Prevention is key to good health, and men and boys are reminded to have regular health check-ups, to be alert to the symptoms of a potential health problem, and to seek proper medical advice and early treatment for a disease, illness or injury.

Did you know that, on average, men die at higher rates than women from the top 10 causes of death and are the victims of over 92 percent of workplace deaths? Compared to women, men are more likely to smoke and drink; make unhealthy or risky choices; and put off regular checkups and medical care. (Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control.)

So what can you do to protect your health?  Here are some important men’s health facts:

  • One of the most powerful choices you can make as a man is the choice to actively take part in your healthcare.
  • Major health risks for men are prostate cancer, colon cancer and heart disease.
  • Screening tests can find diseases early, when they’re easier to treat. It’s vital to get the screening tests you need.
  • Even the smallest symptoms can sometimes be serious and may need to be discussed with a doctor.
  • Get a flu shot every year.
  • Eat a healthy diet (more information below*) and be physically active.

As a starting place, first:

Build a patient-doctor relationship with a primary care physician

You’re not just looking for a doctor. You’re looking for a health care partner. And both partners have responsibilities:

  • It’s your responsibility to give your doctor the information he/she needsto do his/her job. Pay attention to your body and how you feel, and don’t ignore unusual changes or aches and pains that don’t go away.
  • It’s the doctor’s responsibility to use all the information you give him/her to help you stay healthy and to help you to get well when you’re not.
  • It’s your responsibility to follow the doctor’s recommendations. Make thelifestyle changes he/she suggests, take your medication according to the directions, keep follow-up appointments, and see the specialists that your doctor recommends.

Get the recommended preventive health screenings.

When you stay on top of the screenings you need and see your primary care physician for regular comprehensive physical examinations, you increase your chances of staying healthy.

WESTMED’s Preventive Health Guidelines for Men can be found here within our “Patient Information” web pages.

“We feel that when used appropriately, the PSA [prostate-specific antigen] test is still the best screening tool used to screen men for prostate cancer,” say both Dr. Judd Boczko and Dr. Bryan Blair, WESTMED urologists. 

Make healthy food choices:

“Patients should consume a diversity of fruits and vegetables and not just tomato products, lycopene or other so called “high antioxidant” products,” says Dr. Boczko, “and tomatoes are not the only source of lycopene. A variety of other healthy foods contain this compound such as apricots, guava and pink grapefruit.  In fact, watermelon is largest potential source of lycopene per gram compared to any other source, including tomato products.”

Dr. Blair adds, “Dietary supplements that claim to substitute for fruit and vegetable consumption are not recommended.”

“Eat less saturated fat and trans fat,” says Dr. Boczko, “and replace it with more healthy types of monounsaturated fat, such as olive oil and polyunsaturated fat.” (Mainly, this is a type of fat made up of omega-3 fatty acids that can be found in fish and some plant sources, such as canola oil, and nuts and seeds).

You can find a list of Westmed urologists and contact information on this page.

A list of Westmed’s primary care physicians and contact information is available here.