Health & Medicine

Men need medical tune ups

OK, men: When was the last time your car had a tune-up?

Now, when was the last time you had a tune-up?

Men are notorious for not wanting to go to the doctor or get regular health screenings, but most wouldn't think about letting their vehicles go for a long time without regular maintenance. Do you value your car more than your life?

Men skip preventative care and go to the doctor only when they're extremely sick or in great pain. By then, the disease they are suffering from might be too advanced to cure or treat effectively.

One of the biggest obstacles to improving men's health is men themselves. They can come up with all kinds of excuses for avoiding doctors. "I feel fine; I have no reason to go to a doctor," is a common excuse.

But feeling fine doesn't mean you are. You can feel fine with high cholesterol, high blood pressure and elevated blood sugars. Let those conditions go without treatment, and you could be looking at a heart attack, a stroke or diabetes. A chronic cough or unexplained weight loss or fatigue could be symptoms of cancer.

The March Men's Health Challenge, scheduled for Tuesday at Keeneland Sales Pavilion, is a free event that will feature retired Florida State University football coach Bobby Bowden as the keynote speaker. The Central Baptist-sponsored event starts at 5:30 p.m. and will feature free food; pain-free screenings, including a blood pressure/pulse reading, a diabetes risk and BMI (body mass index) assessment; and a depression screening. You can ask questions of physicians, each of whom would love to see more men come in for preventative care.

A routine physical exam led to Coach Bowden's diagnosis of prostate cancer in 2007. The disease was caught at a treatable stage, and he has been cancer-free since then.

Routine health exams and tests can help find problems before they start. By getting regular "tune-ups," you can take steps that help your chances at living a longer, healthier life. If you haven't made your health a priority, you can start by attending the March Men's Health Challenge. Go to CentralBap.com to register and learn more, or call (859) 260-6174.

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