A new survey from Orlando Health asked nearly 1,000 men what would stop them from setting up an annual checkup. The top three reasons: Being too busy, fearing that the doctor might find a serious problem, and wanting to skip uncomfortable body exams like prostate checks.
Obviously, those excuses are just that: excuses, says Jamin Brahmbhatt, M.D., a men’s health activist and Orlando-based urology surgeon. If any of them sound familiar, here’s how to get over it.
YOU DO HAVE THE TIME.
Twenty-two percent of the men surveyed said that being too busy would stop them from going to their annual checkups.
Sure, you probably feel swamped on a day-to-day basis. But an annual checkup is just one hour of time throughout your entire year, says Dr. Brahmbhatt.
With a little research, you may be able to find a doctor who offers extended hours in the evenings or weekends, so your checkup doesn’t have to cut in to your hectic workday.
Some walk-in health clinics, like Patient First, CVS, and Walgreens, offer checkups or health screenings on evenings and weekends, too.
IGNORANCE IS NOT BLISS WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR HEALTH.
Twenty one percent of the men surveyed said they would avoid a checkup out of fear that the doctor would find something seriously wrong with them.
But you know what’s worse than finding out you have cancer? Finding out you have stage 4 cancer and it’s too late to do something about it.
The same is true for many diseases: Catching high blood sugar or high blood pressure early and taking action can slash your risk for diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
Recently, Dr. Brahmbhatt had a patient who put off seeing a doctor about a lump in his testicle for nearly a year. He was afraid of finding anything that would affect his family life.
He eventually got it checked out, and he did, in fact, have testicular cancer. But facing that terrifying diagnosis saved his life, Dr. Brahmbhatt says.
After receiving treatment, the patient is now cancer free and has been for more than two years.
TEN SECONDS OF DISCOMFORT COULD ADD YEARS TO YOUR LIFE.
Eighteen percent of men say they would avoid an annual checkup in order to get out of an uncomfortable body exam like a prostate check.
Having a near-stranger stick a finger in your rectum will always be awkward. But that “uncomfortable” exam gives your doctor priceless information about your health, Dr. Brahmbatt says.
To use the prostate check example, your doctor will find out if your prostate is enlarged or has any lumps or abnormalities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The earlier your doctor catches prostate cancer signs like that, the more likely you are to beat the cancer, Dr. Brahmbatt says. And a little discomfort is a small price to pay for better chances of survival.