Talking Men's Health on Father's Day

By: Dana Brueck
By: Dana Brueck

Father's Day might make the perfect day not just for a card but for an honest discussion about men's health. Studies suggest men fail to get regular checkups.

"All right, ready," Joe Punzel asks his young son.

Punzel is ready to rest easy this Father's Day. "Now that I have kids, I really want to be around to watch them grow up," he says.

The father of two recently went to the doctor for a checkup. "Before that, it had been several years," he says.

Doctors say Punzel's record is more the norm, than the exception. "Most of the men I see ... last time they've seen the doctor is at their high school athletic exam," Dr. Robert Alt of Dean Internal Medicine says.

Alt says men often relent not for themselves but for their loved ones. "So it's very good tact to take ... do it for kids, do it for me," he says.

Alt specializes in men's health issues. He says men who get yearly checkups also get the opportunity to alter unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking.

Alt says, "the pot of gold that preventive health is shooting for is those five years, it's not biology it's behavior." He says, on average, women outlive men by five years.

The CDC lists the leading causes of death for men as heart disease, cancer, accidents, stroke and lower respiratory diseases. "If we capture them early, they will not become problems," Alt says.

Which is exactly why men like Punzel choose to break the bad habit and get an exam. "I just wanted to make sure I was in good health ... get that peace of mind that something wasn't going to creep up all of a sudden," Punzel says.

Alt says this guide by Dean Health serves as a checklist. "A fellow could look at his age and look at appropriate column and see how he's doing, whether he's doing appropriate things," Alt says.

But perhaps the most important thing could be a little encouragement.
"Sometimes guys come in, they're literally shaking so it does take a great deal of courage," Alt says.

Courage this 32-year-old man hopes to pass on to his young son ... "I felt it was important to set an example," Punzel says.

Doctor Alt says a typical exam takes about a half-hour.

You can find more information about Dean's Well Male Exam at www.deancare.com.


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