It’s important for men of all ages to make their health a priority. From age-appropriate screenings to regular visits with their doctor, there are specific things men can do to stay healthy. We spoke with Dr. Dae Yun Kim, urologist with Utica Park Clinic, for more advice.
A consistent relationship with your primary care physician is important. “A lot of men do not regularly see a doctor,” said Dr. Kim. “Men should see their primary care physician at least once a year. We see a lot of cancers that are at their end stage where treatment can be more difficult. Seeing your primary care physician and consistently working with a healthcare provider will help catch problems in the early stages and make treatment more manageable.”
Regular screenings assist in catching diseases early and preventing future problems. “Age appropriate screenings and routine lab tests help you know if you are in proper health,” stated Dr. Kim. “Colorectal, prostate and lung screenings, among others, have proven to make a difference in livelihood. It’s also important to have a primary care physician check on diabetes, blood pressure and other common medical concerns. Those are manageable and if caught early, will cause you less complications down the road, as well as less organ damage.”
As far as cancers go, prostate cancer is the second highest diagnosed cancer in men behind lung cancer. The symptoms can vary from case to case. “Oftentimes, men don’t experience symptoms and the cancer is caught through screenings or a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test,” stated Dr. Kim. “Those screenings save lives. The United States Preventive Services Task Force says that men ages 55-69 should be screened for prostate cancer and also have a PSA test. Discussing this with your primary care physician is extremely important, as we want to prevent as many cases of prostate cancer as possible.”
Treating your body well with proper nutrition is the basis for cancer prevention. “Being healthy is the best way to prevent prostate cancer,” said Dr. Kim. “Men who are more active and have a healthy diet are less likely to develop prostate cancer. Not smoking is another way you can reduce your risk of cancer.”
There are also other changes in prostate as men age that can affect your lifestyle such as benign prostatic hyperplasia – or BPH - which is a non-cancerous issue that men sometimes face. “As a man ages, prostates can get larger which hinders the ability to urinate,” said Dr. Kim. “A lot of men have symptoms like slow stream, difficulty resting, and having trouble getting up at night, which greatly affects their everyday lifestyle. Through treatment and medications, we can help with this.”
For continued good health, stay in tune with your body. “Be mindful of what’s going on with your body,” said Dr. Kim. “Perform regular self-exams and follow up with your primary care provider if you are experiencing any issues. Men often wait until an issue is nearing its worst stages to visit a doctor because of shame or embarrassment. As healthcare providers, we are trained to help you through any medical issues you might be experiencing and we are here to help.”
Dr. Kim welcomes new patients and accepts most insurance plans. To schedule an appointment with him, call 918-579-3130.