This “June” is for You!
OK, OK! 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 help explain why a conversation with your primary care physician is a task to check off the list this month.
June is Men’s Health Month, an awareness month focused on advocating for all men to live healthier and happier lives. How? By taking control of your health in an effort to detect and treat preventable health problems prevalent in men. Getting started isn’t hard, and it takes just a few minutes to schedule a visit with your physician online or by phone.
Celebrate With a Visit & Heart-2-Heart
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.
Heart disease plagues us, men! 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.
Consider A Screening A Gift
Early detection is truly a G-I- F-T that 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.
The other screening that gets so much attention 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, risks and benefits of this type of screening.
The COVID-19 pandemic put many aspects of life on hold, and a lot of us put off important screenings to be safe during a time of great uncertainty. If you relate, now’s the time. Restrictions are being lifted, and it is time to get the necessary screening scheduled. It could be life-saving in certain situations.
Roll Up A Sleeve To Celebrate
The importance of getting as many people as possible vaccinated against COVID-19 isn’t going away. Being proactive, takingcontrol of your health and keeping your family safe comes in a small dose (or two). Currently, only 31.7% of Louisiana residents have been fully vaccinated. Louisiana ranks 48th in number of residents vaccinated, only ahead of our neighbors, Mississippi and Alabama. In Bossier Parish, only 25.1% of residents have been fully vaccinated. That number sits at 29.1% in Caddo Parish. This is the major line of defense in the battle against COVID. Get vaccinated and urge your family, also. Remember, youth at least 12 years old are now eligible for a vaccine.
A happier and healthier you is what matters! Make the decision to make your health a priority. The journey to a new you starts with a visit to a primary care physician the one you might be putting off or talking yourself out of. Prepare mentally to ask questions and be ready to make small changes in your lifestyle. It is never too late to improve your health and start celebrating.
Joseph Tynes, M.D., is an internal medicine physician practicing in the Shreveport-Bossier area. He now serves the Bossier City community at CHRISTUS Internal Medicine - North Bossier on Beene Boulevard. Recognized as one of Louisiana’s top doctors, Dr. Tynes has made it his mission to help patients heal physically, mentally and emotionally.