Sergeant Bluff, Iowa (KTIV) — “Out of the top 10 causes of death in the United States, men lead women in nine of them so you tend to have a life expectancy that’s five years less than women,” said Dr. Jason Losee, Family and Sports Medicine Specialist. Even with that information, Dr. Losee says fewer men see a doctor for routine care than women.
Regular checkups for men are important to prevent more serious issues in the future.
Kelly Pry sees his doctor at least twice a year, but it took a major life event to make his health a priority.
“It probably started back about 15 years ago after my Dad passed away from colon cancer. I just found it important to follow up and do annual screening and that kind of thing,” said Kelly Pry, Patient.
Pry now knows regular checkups are important.
“Actually I come in every six months. We do a blood test because I’m on certain medications that require that sort of thing, kidney functions that they monitor,” said Pry.
Dr. Losee is Pry’s doctor.
“My goal is to have a relatively brief opportunity to make sure that we can check your blood pressure, that we can check about any other concerns that may be going on. Make sure there isn’t some real easy preventative things we can do to decrease the risk down the road,” said Dr. Losee.
However, it’s not always easy to get people, especially men, to go to the doctor, to talk about their health.
“We’re men. We’re tough, we’re strong. If something hurts or doesn’t feel well, it’s that old suck it up butter cup kind of an attitude,” said Dr. Losee.
A few other misperceptions keep some men steering clear of the doctor’s office.
“They don’t have to worry about making us uncomfortable or talking about something that’s going to make me uncomfortable or that they’re going to be shocked about or judged upon. We see it all,” said Dr. Losee.
“It’s like doing routine maintenance on a vehicle. And you want to do routine maintenance on your body to get everything in time and make sure it’s functioning as it should,” said Pry.
Dr. Losee says the goal of medicine is to achieve good health, to avoid big problems in the future.
He says prevention is the main focus for younger men, making sure they’re getting routine vaccinations, screening for sexually transmitted diseases, and developing good exercise and nutrition habits.
When men get older, Dr. Losee says that’s the time for colorectal cancer screenings. Recent medical recommendations have lowered the screening age to 45.
Dr. Losee says men tend to be a little less comfortable talking about their health.
Those conversations, though, could save their lives.
Originally Appeared Here