This information is made available to Johns Hopkins employees through a partnership with CareFirst.
Most people know at least one male who refuses to get a medical checkup unless he is dragged in by a loved one. Women are 33% more likely to visit a doctor than men. Data is showing that many preventive screenings dropped by nearly 90% in 2020. So it is particularly important for everyone, including men, to take an active role in their health in 2021.
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For cultural reasons, men tend not to be talkers at doctors' visits. The reasons differ, from men thinking they should tolerate pain or not express worries to simply being uncomfortable. Don't wait until you are sick to make an appointment, and speak openly with your primary care provider. An annual visit will allow you to discuss any new symptoms or concerns, and have your cholesterol and testosterone levels, blood pressure, and prostate health checked. Your primary care provider is not just there to treat you when you are sick but to partner with you to help prevent health issues.
Speaking of prevention
Aside from the general health metrics that will be tracked and updated with annual visits to your primary care provider, it's important to be aware of certain conditions specific to men.
Get a prostate screening. Prostate cancer is now the most common form of cancer in men. All men are at risk, and the risk increases with age. Early prostate cancer often has no warning signs. In the advanced stage, prostate cancer symptoms include:
- Blood in the urine
- Trouble having or keeping an erection
- Slow or weakened urinary stream, or the need to urinate more often
- Pain in the pelvis, spine, hips, or ribs
It's important to speak to your doctor to lower your risks for prostate cancer and other diseases.
Get testosterone levels checked. This male hormone peaks during the teenage and young adult years. It naturally declines with age, but did you know that lower than normal levels can also be connected to diabetes, heart disease, and depression?
Use the following strategies and resources to take your overall health to the next level.
Review a comprehensive men's health checklist.
Talk it out. If you need to speak to someone about what's on your mind, call mySupport at 443-997-7000, ext. 2.
Develop a holistic wellness plan. Join WW—it's for men, too—with your 50% JHU discount.
Take free virtual JHU wellness classes. The programs include HIIT, strength training, meditation, and more.
Attend a live Men's Health Webinar from 4 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 24. Despite the importance of annual checkups, screenings, and preventive health care, most men seek medical attention only when they are very sick or if their partner expresses concern. Men need to take an active role in their health by being aware of preventable conditions and early detection screenings, and by making healthy lifestyle choices. Be sure to attend this one-hour webinar to celebrate Men's Health Month.