June 4, 2010

Father's Day initiative - get a check-up, Dad!

My father was experiencing fatigue and general pain about six months ago and we finally talked him into going to the doctor. Turned out he had advanced leukemia. While the doctors were trying to build his strength back up enough to begin cancer treatment, it was discovered that his kidneys were cancerous as well. One kidney had to be removed, and four months later he passed away from total renal failure.

It's useless to play the "what if" game, but I can't help but think that he might still be with us if he had gone for regular physical check-ups, instead of waiting until there was a problem. By the time there is a problem that causes a man who never goes to the doctor to actually go to the doctor... it's usually too late.

Did you know that new research has found that men are 31 percent less likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year? In fact, men report making fewer routine health care appointments compared with women (56.5 percent vs. 73.8 percent).

What can you do to help? Glad you asked. :)

Send the men in your life this new e-card for Father’s Day (http://www.dadtothedoc.org)

Ask your husband, father, brother, etc. to take the health quiz (http://www.ahrq.gov/healthymen/quiz.htm)

Encourage the men you know to visit ahrq.gov/healthymen, which provides recommended ages for preventive medical tests, a health care quiz designed to test knowledge of preventive health care, tips for talking with doctors, a glossary of consumer health terms, and links to online resources to find more medical information.

Dads, do yourself and your loved ones a favor and go now to get a check-up. Please don't wait until a problem appears. We want you to be around for yourself and your family for a long, long time.

Happy Father's Day!


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