While a world of information is available at everyone’s fingertips, men are still far behind when it comes to taking care of their health. Whether it is out of fear of finding out something is wrong or feeling discomfort, men missing general screenings and checkups can have adverse or sometimes deadly consequences to their health. Men with a family history of medical complications should be screened and checked out sooner as a preventative measure to minimize the risk of developing diseases or conditions.

Don’t know where to start? Below are a few screenings and conditions to speak with your health care provider about incorporating into your health care plan.

 Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease impacts all of your core cardiac muscles and organs, such as your heart, aorta and ventricles. Monitoring your blood pressure, cholesterol and heart health are all crucial in caring for your cardiovascular system. According to the American Heart Association, you should be regularly checked by your health care provider as one in three men have some form of cardiovascular disease.

Prostate Screening

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer found in men in the U.S., not including skin cancer. If you have a family medical history of prostate cancer, it is best to be screened sooner than the suggested age of 50. Read more about prostate cancer.

Colon Screening

Colon and rectal cancers are one of the fastest growing cancer diagnoses in young men and women. As with any condition or disease, the sooner cancer can be found, the easier and quicker it can be treated. Getting a colonoscopy will also decrease the risk of death from colon cancer. Read more about what to expect during your colonoscopy.

Substance Abuse

Compared to females, males are more frequently hospitalized and experience alcohol-related deaths. In fact, they double the amount of binge drinking. Constant alcohol consumption can increase the risk of cancer within the liver, colon, mouth and throat. It can also affect your sexual health as it can lead to infertility. Read more about liver disease.


Speak with your health care provider about your sexual health and regularly checking in on it. Of those infected with HIV, men make up 76 percent. Hepatitis B is also something to speak with your health care provider about as men who have sex with other men are at a higher risk of contracting Hepatitis B and C. Learn more about Hepatitis prevention and testing from UofL Health – UofL Hospital Hep C Center

Reproductive System

As men age, the chances of experiencing erectile dysfunction or testicular cancer increase. If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction, talk with your health care provider about your options of treatment.

Mental Health

Everyone has their own personal experiences with mental health that won’t mirror the next person’s. Most men are reluctant to open up about how they feel or acknowledge the emotions they are experiencing. This can be due to a number of reasons, including the stigma of being the “tougher” sex or fear of being bullied or shunned by peer groups. As a result, men are unfortunately more successful with their suicide attempts. You are not alone! If you don’t have anyone in your personal circle to speak with, contact UofL Physicians – Psychiatry. If you or someone is in need of emergency psychiatric care, you can visit any of our seven ER locations or UofL Health – Peace Hospital Assessment and Referral Center for a no-charge assessment 24/7 at 502-451-3333 or 800-451-3637. Walk-ins welcome. Contact the 24-Hour Crisis and Information Center Line at 502-589-4313 or 800-221-0446.

Need to catch up on your screenings and checkups? Contact one of our 165 primary care providers to schedule an appointment on the UofL Physicians – Primary Care website today, or by calling 502-588-4343.

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Article by: Waqar Saleem, MD, FAAFP, CMD

Waqar Saleem MD, CMD, FAAFP graduated from King Edward Medical College, Lahore, Pakistan in 1995. He completed a residency in Family Medicine at the University of Louisville in 2000. He is board certified in Family Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Care and Addiction Medicine. He serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor at University of Louisville and Clinical Faculty, AHEC program at University of Kentucky. In addition to clinical practice and teaching, he also serves as secretary at The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure and served as a member of the Differential Item Functioning Panel at the American Board of Family Physician. During the pandemic, he is serving on AMDA State Task Force and Kentucky State Task Force for COVID-19. He is currently vice president of Muslim Americans for Compassion promoting better interfaith understanding, Doctors for Healthy Communities with emphasis on health equity and a volunteer physician at Family Community Clinic providing indigent care. Dr. Saleem is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He is a Certified Medical Director with AMDA - The Society of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, currently serving on the membership committee and served on the awards committee. He served as President of KMDA – Kentucky Society of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine and formally incorporated the chapter. He currently serves as Medical Director in several long-term care facilities and provides ambulatory care in a family medicine setting at the University of Louisville.

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