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INDIANAPOLIS– November is Men’s Health Awareness Month. This is a time of year dedicated to raising awareness of the issues surrounding prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health. According to Dr. Helen Bernie, urologist at IU Health, it’s also about highlighting the importance of getting regular health checkups.

“Unlike women where we’re plugged in early, we either go see an OBGYN for monthly periods or during our childbearing years,” Bernie said. “Men don’t have a doctor that they get plugged into early. They may see a primary care doctor for physicals if they’re in sports in high school or middle school, but other than that they really don’t get plugged in. A lot of men only go see a doctor when something is wrong. The important part is getting men to see a doctor regularly and getting annual screenings.”

Most people don’t realize the American Heart Association recommends that men should start seeing a doctor annually to get their blood pressure checked, their blood glucose checked, and their heart checked starting at age twenty, she added.

At age 45, she says men should start getting colorectal and prostate cancer screenings. If detected early, they can be treated.

Story by Dr. Mary Gillis, D.Ed.