MCALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The month of November is Men’s Health Awareness Month and doctors say it is important for men to get their annual checkups to stay healthy.
Hidalgo County Health Authority Dr. Ivan Melendez said although major strides have been made in the last 10 years when it comes to cancer, it remains a threat to be taken seriously.
“Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of death for cancer in men.” Dr. Melendez goes on to say, “we need to remind our men in our community that part of our responsibility not only to ourselves but to our families and to our community is to make sure we stay healthy.”
He said the secret to beating cancer is early detection, especially for men in a certain age group whose annual checkups are a must.
“For Prostate-specific antigen which is what we use for screening for cancer of the prostate, we start at age 40 to 50, and then we do it as a routine follow up when we do our annual blood work,” said Dr. Melendez.
As for Urologist Dr. Michael Scida, he said there are other things he tells his patients to look out for.
“There’s also the erectile dysfunction issues that affect a lot of men. That’s sort of a topic that is not very well discussed here in the valley,” said Dr. Scida.
Both doctors agree that oftentimes these medical issues can lead to men feeling depressed and embarrassed.
“Anxiety and stress are quite common in men sometimes especially down here in the valley, we don’t want to admit it because we seem to think it’s a sign of weakness,” said Melendez.
Scida said it is important for men to want to seek out treatment and get regular checkups on their own instead of being asked to by family.
“That attitude needs to change. Nobody needs to ask somebody to talk them into going to see a physician if you see something wrong and something doesn’t look right go seek medical help,” he said.