June is not only the month to celebrate fathers but it is also Men’s Health Month and most guys need a little push to go for regular check-ups with their doctor. Many health problems men face are preventable but they are hard pressed to find time for regular physicals and often wait until they are seriously ill to seek treatment.
According to Statistics Canada, men are much more likely not to have a regular doctor than women yet they could greatly benefit from preventative medicine for health issues like heart disease and prostate cancer that are specific to men. Many diseases and health problems can be treated when caught early but men, especially older men who believe in old school “toughing it out”, stubbornly refuse to seek treatment.
Men, like women, may not want to hear what they probably already know; that they need to quit smoking, cut back on alcohol or lose some weight. Men over 50 may avoid doctor visits that will include a prostate cancer exam or lead to a colonoscopy. These tests are nobody’s idea of a good time but chances of surviving a diagnosis is much better if caught early.
A recent survey by the American Academy of Family Physicians showed that 55 per cent of U.S. men haven’t seen their doctor in the past year. Men will often ignore symptoms and wait until a crisis to get medical attention. Or because they feel fine, assume they are perfectly healthy. But a third of all heart attacks occur without any warning signs so it’s important to have a full physical each year to catch any changes in health.
This father’s day, remind the men in your life how important they are by encouraging them to see a doctor and stay around longer for their loved-ones. Let them know they are a role model to the next generation and encourage them to teach their sons and grandsons that taking care of your health is not a sign of weakness.