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Men's Health: Prevention and Prostate Care

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Author name: Lee Health

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Men, you can’t take care of your family unless you take care of yourself first.

Many of us could do better when it comes to taking care of ourselves, though. According to a 2022 survey, an alarming number of men might be skipping a simple yet critical step toward their health: getting an annual checkup with their doctor.

One-third of men (33 percent) don’t think they need annual health screenings and almost two-thirds (65 percent) believe they are naturally healthier than others in general.

In observance of Men's Health Month and in celebration of Father's Day, we agree it’s an ideal time to raise awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.

Get Started

So, how do you take care of yourself? You can start by developing a relationship with your primary care provider and getting a yearly checkup.

“An annual wellness exam is one of the best ways you can reduce your risk of illness in the future,” says Dr. Ravi Ramaswami, a family care physician with Lee Physician Group. “By examining your current health status, your doctor can identify areas of concern such as high cholesterol or hypertension (high blood pressure) and suggest lifestyle changes to help you meet your goal of taking care of your family.”

The same holds true with getting those annual preventive screenings for the early detection and treatment of diseases including heart disease, depression and cancers.

“Screenings are medical tests that check for diseases and health conditions before they cause any signs or symptoms,” Dr. Ramaswami says. “They can help find problems early, when they may be easier to treat.”

Early Detection: Prostate Cancer

Early detection is key to successfully treating many types of cancer—especially prostate cancer—so scheduling yearly screenings with your doctor is important, says Dr. Joseph Klink, a board-certified urologic oncologist with Lee Health Urology Surgery Center.

About 283,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed every year, according to the American Cancer Society.

“It’s one of the most common forms of cancer in American men” Dr. Klink notes. “It’s also the second-leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States, second only to lung cancer.”

Dr. Klink says the goal of screening for prostate cancer is to find cancers that may be at high risk for spreading if not treated, and to find them early before they spread. However, most prostate cancers develop slowly or not at all.

“Prostate cancer typically grows slowly, so many cases don't require immediate treatment and aren't life threatening,” Dr. Klink says. “Prostate cancer can be serious, but most men diagnosed with it don’t die from prostate cancer. In fact, in the United States there are more than 3.1 million men diagnosed with prostate cancer who are still alive today. The take-away message is that the earlier prostate cancer is caught, the easier it can be contained.”

Prostate cancer: fast facts

  • About 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.

  • Prostate cancer is more likely to develop in older men and non-Hispanic Black men.

  • About 6 cases in 10 are diagnosed in men 65 or older, and it is rare in men under 40.

  • The average age of men when they are first diagnosed is about 66.

Source: American Cancer Society

These statistics are an urgent nudge for at-risk men to get screened for prostate cancer, certainly, but for all cancers, too. Men should get screened for colorectal, lung, and skin cancers.

Get caught up on your routine appointments and screenings by establishing yourself with a primary care physician if you haven’t. It’s never too late. But the sooner you take control of your health, the better you can take care of your family.

Find a Lee Physician Group doctor here.

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