DVIDS – News – “Men’s Health is Everyone’s Health,” so Get Involved

Via Peters

FORT BRAGG, NC. — Men have a reputation of not wanting to go to the doctor, however, a visit to the urologist may surprise men that they are not alone, and one visit is a step closer to receiving answers and treatment.

June is Men’s Health Month, a time when men are encouraged to perform self-exams and see their providers to discuss any issues or concerns that they may be having.

According to Maj. (Dr.) Joseph Fantony, urologist at Womack Army Medical Center (WAMC), men may be hesitant to address urological concerns because some consider them embarrassing.

Though seemingly embarrassing, this does not minimize the urologists’ role in men’s health.

“Urologists, team up with primary care managers (PCM) as the subject matter experts in all things men’s health,” said Fantony. “We help to guide the provider on what men’s health issues to screen for, detect them when they are there, and get them to the appropriate specialist.”

Once they get to the urologist, Fantony said it is now their job to work up any urological condition they may have and implement the treatment strategy.

With some of the main concerns like low testosterone or symptoms related to low libido, low sex drive, problems with erections, erectile dysfunctions (ED), enlargement of the prostate, difficulty urinating and kidney stones, they have noticed a delay in men coming to see them. They also see a lot of people for cancer screening, diagnosis of treatment and testicular and kidney cancer.

“Whatever men’s health problem you have, we can address here at WAMC, just ask for help,” said Fantony.

However, it starts with men developing a relationship with their doctor, and being transparent by talking about those issues.

“They are not going to see us until they have complained about it generally,” said Fantony. “What men need to realize is that things like ED, low testosterone, some of the more personal complaints are very common, up to 50 percent of men over the age of 50 have some element of ED. We have a whole host of arrows in our quiver that we can use to treat ED and that includes lifestyle modifications, management of low testosterone and medical therapy.”

Fantony also noted that younger men seemed to be more embarrassed talking about these problems with their PCM. However, it is becoming less of a problem as they seem to be utilizing online resources that help them to communicate these concerns with their provider.

“I encourage men to write things down, because that not only helps you to remember, but it holds you accountable, and share with a spouse or partner because there is accountability there as well,” said Fantony. “Be frank with your providers because there is really nothing that you can say to us that we have not heard many times before and we always have an answer for you.”

Along with getting the dialog started men are also able to perform regular self-examinations and schedule any unusual discoveries. The earlier they seek help the quicker urologists can resolve the problems and they can get back to enjoying life.

“A monthly self-testicular exam is a little controversial in terms of an appropriate screening tool for testicular cancer, however, it’s an easy thing that men can do in the shower,” said Fantony. “Once a month, just check to make sure there are no lumps, bumps or anything on the testicles that would be any cause for concern.”

Along with regular self-examinations, men can make different lifestyle changes that can help them to manage certain issues like erectile dysfunction and low libido. Issues like ED Fantony said, can provide clues to look for problems elsewhere particularly in middle-aged and above. They look for lifestyle factors like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and maybe even bigger problems such as vascular disease that can be addressed with early intervention.

According to Fantony, diet and exercise are huge components of men’s health for a number of reasons, and maintaining an appropriate weight and body mass index can go a long way. Those are things that patients can do to address those issues as a measure of prevention. Easy things, but they do take commitment.

Though exercise, diet, or just having those uncomfortable but needful conversations can be difficult Fantony believes they are all necessary and should take on a team effort.

“Men’s health is not just men’s health, it is everyone’s health, I believe it is engaging partners, children and friends,” said Fantony. “If you know that guy in your life who never goes to the doctor and doesn’t like to complain about anything, check in with that person and make sure they are getting the help they need. Encourage them to take those preventative measures, see their doctor regularly and know that we are here. You can always ask your provider to see an urologist if you want to speak with an expert. We are here and we are taking patients.”

Date Taken: 06.03.2022
Date Posted: 06.08.2022 07:56
Story ID: 422370
Location: FORT BRAGG, NC, US 

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