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Taking care of our own health should be top priority for each of us. But whether you’re a man or woman, the truth is we sometimes neglect routine health visits and screenings at the expense of taking care of others — just for slightly different reasons.
Women, in their quest to tend to the logistical needs of the whole family, tend to schedule everyone else’s appointments first, putting their own at the bottom of the to-do list. So when there isn’t enough time, you can guess whose wellness checks and health screenings get cancelled.
Men, on the other hand, feel the pressure of providing for their families above all other things — with the responsibility to provide health insurance coverage for the entire family at the top of their list. They tend to value their jobs above their own immediate health needs and delay seeing a doctor even when there are signs of a health problem. When the budget gets tight, men often forsake their own health insurance coverage first. In fact, you’d be surprised at the statistics — men are far more likely to be uninsured than women.
Remember the old adage, “You must first take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else?” Regular check-ins with your primary care physician (PCP) positively impact your whole health, improving your physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing — and allowing you to best care for your family.
What Is a PCP?
Primary care physicians are also known as general practitioners. They treat many common health problems including acute (sudden onset) and chronic (long-term) illnesses.
PCPs manage your health care over the long term, staying involved even when you need a specialist for diagnosis or treatment of a specific disease or health condition. Even if you need more than one specialist, your records will be sent to your PCP (at your request), so he or she can be the main coordinator of your health care. The specialists’ notes, tests and lab results will be a placed in your medical file at your PCP's office in one central location. This provides continuity of care and peace of mind knowing one doctor is aware of all your health issues.
Why Should I See a PCP?
Many health conditions men face are preventable or can be successfully treated if caught early. Men are more likely than women to smoke, use other tobacco products, drink alcohol and live a less than healthy lifestyle. It’s important for you to understand your risk for certain diseases — especially those affecting only men — so you can take control of your health and improve your overall quality of life. Peace of mind is essential to good health.
What Illnesses Does a PCP Treat?
Primary care doctors will provide routine checkups, preventative care like routine age-related health maintenance, and vaccinations. Finding a PCP who specializes in men’s health can be beneficial. Health issues your PCP treats or may be the first to identify include:
- Colon cancer
- Enlarged prostate
- Erectile dysfunction
- Heart disease
- Hernia or herniated disk
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Kidney stones
- Low testosterone levels
- Lung cancer
- Parkinson’s disease
- Prostate cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Thyroid disease
- Sexual impotence
- Vision problems
Be Proactive and Take Control of Your Health
Maintaining a relationship with a primary care provider you trust — and can be open and honest with — will help keep tabs on your long-term health. To find a provider near you, use our convenient online physician finder.
Learn more about the comprehensive and compassionate men’s health services AdventHealth provides.