NATIONAL MEN’S HEALTH MONTH: A healthy future is composed of today’s wise choices
Published 12:16 am Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Father’s Day is fast approaching, and as internal medicine physicians, we would like to prescribe good health as the best gift you can give yourself or the men you love. Few investments promise such profitable, lifetime returns like a strong body.
June is National Men’s Health Month, and we have joined Gift of Life to heighten awareness of the medical disparities that commonly affect men. We strongly lend our voices to the program’s Men’s Health and Prostate Cancer initiatives urging men to seek routine medical care and proactive treatment for disease.
Did you know that American men live sicker and die younger than American women? A higher percentage of males lack healthcare coverage and make half as many preventive physician visits as their female counterparts. This results in a higher death rate and an overall poorer quality of life.
Though men often notice minor signs that their vehicles aren’t functioning properly, they often ignore their bodies’ repeated signals that they’re overdue for a “tune up.” Too often, our male patients have let their health warranties expire and procrastinated their body’s maintenance plans.
Then, they arrive at our office in terrible pain or exhibiting the dire complications of prolonged illness. Like mechanics, physicians are sometimes limited in what we can do when an advanced disease limits the traditional course of care.
So, what can we do to keep our bodies moving full steam ahead without emergency tow services?
The answer is to act now!
A healthy future is composed of today’s wise choices – simple things like eating a nutritious diet and getting plenty of sleep and exercise. Also, never put off regular “tune ups.”
Our doctors need the chance to “look under the hood” and recommend preventative screenings and strategies to keep us properly aligned.
Southeast Texas has a high population of medically underserved individuals who confront additional obstacles as they attempt to keep their health on track. Some lack health insurance or cannot afford their high deductibles.
Many struggle to keep appointments during a demanding work week or simply don’t have access to transportation. Language barriers can also be an insurmountable hurdle.
Our community is fortunate to have the free services provided by Gift of Life, a nonprofit organization that overcomes such disparities to ensure local men receive the care they deserve.
Throughout the year, Gift of Life hosts free men’s health screenings at locations in Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange.
Eligible Southeast Texas clients benefit from free prostate cancer blood tests (PSA) and primary care tests for insidious ailments like diabetes, high cholesterol, HIV, Hepatitis C and hypertension. The screenings are complemented by comprehensive consultations with on-site physicians.
Along with volunteering our time, Dr. Fowler also oversees many of the highly qualified medical volunteers from the Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas Physician Residency Program who are helping navigate clients to heartier roads.
Screenings like these save lives! We’ve seen clients in critical condition immediately receive the emergent intervention they need.
With proper care, our bodies are built to last. If we want to keep “cruising” long into the future, we must be responsible owners and operators. This is the best gift we can give to ourselves and those that love us.
Please join us in celebrating National Men’s Health Month and Father’s Day by making a commitment to a healthier, happier lifestyle.
Call Gift of Life at 409-833-3663 or visit giftoflifebmt.org to determine if you’re eligible to register for a free men’s health screening.
— John Fowler, M.D. works at Beaumont Internal Medicine & Geriatric Associates, and Santos Soberon, M.D. is a prostate cancer survivor and works with Beaumont Internal Medicine & Geriatric Associates.