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Men’s Health reminder: Seek preventive care

June is Men’s Health Month, a time for men to look at how to maintain their own good health. This includes screening for cancers, some of which men might not even know about and others that are uncomfortable for men to even think about.

     Testicular cancer is a young man’s disease, striking as early as 15.

     Skin cancer is a particular concern because men tend to not use sunscreen because it may be viewed as more of a women’s cosmetic product.

     Prostate cancer awareness is critical as men age. Often the prospect of a rectal exam still keeps many men away from the doctor’s office;      however, a simple blood test is often all it takes for a correct diagnosis.

    Colon and rectal cancer screening should begin for both men and women at age 45 per guidelines from the American Cancer Society. The preferred screening, which detects both polyps and cancer, is a colonscopy every 10 years unless risk factors indicate a need for more frequent monitoring.

All these cancers have several obvious symptoms in their early stages when they are most easily and successfully treated, but many times they are either not recognized or not diagnosed in time.

Far from being restricted to just cancer, this is a time when all the medical conditions affecting men should be on the table and up for discussion with your healthcare provider.

One of the most important benefits of having regular physicals is learning about your current health and potential risk factors for disease. Your healthcare provider can spot unhealthy trends early on, before they become serious risk factors for chronic illness.

Blood pressure is one key health indicator that your provider monitors and measures over time. By keeping a watch on changes that could signal a need for lifestyle changes, medication, or both, there’s an opportunity to reverse the condition, such as hypertension/high blood pressure, or prevent it from progressing.

For an appointment at any of Riverwood’s primary care clinics in Aitkin, Garrison and McGregor, call 218-927-2157.