Men's Health Tips for June

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June is Men’s Health Month and it’s the perfect time for the men in your life to consider their next checkup. “But I’m not sick” — That is the common response from many men who only visit a doctor if they have an injury or illness. However, experts recommend getting checked out even if you are well.

Robert Wilson MD
Robert Wilson, MD, primary care physician

Robert Wilson, MD, primary care physician with Roane County Family Practice and Covenant Medical Group, offers some advice and reasons why men should use this awareness month as a reminder to schedule a wellness visit or get established with a family doctor or internal medicine specialist.

Tips for Men’s Health:

1. Prevention is Key – Including Your Mental Health.

Health screenings are important and can help detect risk factors, early signs of cancer and other issues. This might involve a skin screening, a colonoscopy, a PSA blood test or a referral to another specialist. “It’s much easier to treat cancer, diabetes or high blood pressure in the early stages before any organ or tissue damage occurs,” Dr. Wilson said. “The purpose of a wellness check is to take preventive steps for your physical health and to check-in on your mental health. We see a lot of depression, stress and anxiety these days; the hardest part of treating depression is getting people to talk about it. Your primary care provider is a great place to start.”

2. Assess and Address Your Quality of Life.

Men are good about visiting their doctor with an acute problem like being sick. However, primary care doctors can help assess and address lifestyle factors that are impeding or improving your quality of life. This is a good chance to assess your tobacco and alcohol use, your exercise and diet habits, and your mental health, in addition to those aches and pains.

3. Don’t be Afraid.

Dr. Wilson understands that many people avoid a doctor because they fear they’ll get bad news regarding their health. He emphasizes that cancer screenings such as colonoscopies may result in preventing you from developing colorectal cancer down the road. “If someone has a polyp removed at age 45, that could have saved them from waiting until symptoms arise for a larger problem at a later age.”

Dr. Wilson emphasizes that primary care physicians are here to help and can also find additional resources for whatever you are facing. “Wellness exams are for identifying warning signs that may indicate we need to test or intervene early, to improve your quality of life, both now and down the road.”

Wellness exams may include an annual physical, a chance to ask your provider questions on what’s bothering you and diseases you may be at risk of developing. Going to the doctor is also a good way to stay up to date on immunizations that you may need, such as pneumonia, shingles, flu and RSV.

Dr. Wilson encourages men to make a wellness exam appointment with a provider, if for no other reason than to check in with your mental and physical health.

He adds, “Not smoking or quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your health. Smoking cigarettes and use of other tobacco products increases our risk of stroke, heart attack and lung cancer.” He says for those who do smoke, there is now an option for a low-dose CT scan that is now covered by many insurances that helps detect lung cancer before any symptoms arise. “This screening is just one of many that can save your life,” he says.

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About the Author

Covenant Health

Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Covenant Health is a community-owned, healthcare enterprise committed to providing the right care at the right time and place. Covenant Health is the area’s largest employer and has more than 11,000 compassionate caregivers, expert clinicians, and dedicated employees and volunteers.

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