Even if you feel healthy, it’s important to schedule regular visits to your primary care provider to a baseline for your health and stay up to date on any recommended screenings. Developing a relationship with your healthcare provider can help catch any illnesses and enable you to start treatment as early as possible. The best way to stay healthy is by practicing prevention such as routine check-ups, maintaining a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, and exercising regularly.
In addition to routine screening for heart disease and diabetes, men’s health focus in primary care includes education and screening for prostate and testicular cancer. Testicular cancer is more common in younger men (aged 20-40) and men should bring any lump or change in the testicle to the attention of their provider. They can do regular self-examinations to check for any changes in the testicles, just as women are recommended to do regular self-breast exams. Symptoms to look for include: a lump or firmness in the testicle, swelling or enlargement of the testicle (with or without pain) and/or pain or a dull ache in the area. As men draw closer to the age of 50, or earlier if you are of African-American descent or have a family history, doctors begin to discuss your risk of prostate cancer and if screenings would be beneficial.
As men draw closer to 50, it’s also an important time to open up to their doctors about any symptoms or changes in their overall health in order to have any risk for other cancers, heart disease, diabetes and other conditions, properly assessed. Fortunately, Cone Health has an exceptional network of primary care providers dedicated to educating and caring for men throughout the community in order to promote overall well-being and a good quality of life.
Amy Krebs is a family nurse practitioner at the South Graham Medical Center and a member of Cone Health Medical Group. Amy received her Bachelor of Science in animal science from North Carolina State University in 2007 and her Bachelor of Nursing from the University of North Carolina in 2009. She received her Master in Nursing with a family nurse practitioner concentration from Duke University in 2015.