How men can take charge of their health
September 24, 2021
Unfortunately, there is a deep gender divide when it comes to getting medical care needed to ensure a long and healthy life. Women are 100% better at getting regular screenings and preventive care, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report. Another study shows that up to two-thirds of men say they avoid going to the doctor.
Kaveh Rahmani, DO*, a primary care physician with UChicago Medicine Medical Group, encourages men to take charge of their health and build a relationship with a primary care provider through regular checkups.
“Medicine has evolved from what their parents experienced, and changed from reactive to preventive care,” Rahmani said. “So, we now check for and guide our patients on what changes in their health indicate and take appropriate steps.”
Based on his patients’ age, family history and risk factors, Rahmani measures changes in their health against a baseline.
“Whether they are in their 20s or over 50 years old, the better I know them, the better chance I have of noticing a difference in their face, eyes, gait or demeanor,” he said. “I can refer them to specialists for testing for different types of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, or behavioral health issues, for example, before it becomes a significant problem.”
Rahmani also advises his male patients to share any health concerns they have with spouses and other family members. Often, spouses and partners can be helpful when they come with the patient to a doctor’s appointment by sharing additional details about their loved one's health history or changes in health they’ve noticed.
“When it comes to health, it’s better to question an unusual ache, fatigue or vague change rather than ignore it and miss catching something in an early stage,” Rahmani said.
*Kaveh Rahmani, DO, is a UChicago Medicine Medical Group provider. UChicago Medicine Medical Group comprises UCM Care Network Medical Group, Inc. and Primary Healthcare Associates, S.C. UChicago Medicine Medical Group providers are not employees or agents of the University of Chicago Medical Center, the University of Chicago or UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial.
Checkups and Screenings
A key step to wellness is to visit a primary care provider, who will perform checkups and make screening referrals based on factors such as age, health and family history. Here’s a general guide to some common checkups and screenings for men that help with early detection and prevention of health issues. It's important to note that you should discuss your individual needs with your healthcare provider and that health issues, including wellness and lifestyle concerns like behavioral health, sleep disorders and weight loss and weight management, should be addressed at any age.