Release Date: 6/8/2012
Celebrate Father's Day with special gift for dad - his good health
Alan Padua, M.D., a family practice specialist at St. Anthony's Family Medicine
Every June it’s the same old dilemma – what to get Dad for Father’s Day. The man can only wear so many ties and sweatpants; he already owns three sets of barbecuing utensils, and he still hasn’t broken the seal on that “bucket o’ nuts” you gifted him with last year.
What could you give him that would be both original and practical, but that also would let him know how much you love and appreciate him every day of the year? How about a gift of good health?
Men of all ages are notorious for avoiding visiting their doctors, unless it’s a real emergency. Yet, regular health screenings are the best way to detect signs of diseases before any symptoms are present.
Nothing could be simpler than a blood pressure check – the results of which could prevent a heart attack. A blood test for diabetes takes only minutes – and could prevent kidney failure and/or blindness. A cholesterol screening is equally quick and easy – and could reduce the risk of vascular disease and/or stroke.
Alan Padua, M.D., a family practice specialist at St. Anthony’s Family Medicine, offers the following suggested schedule for health screenings at any age:
Routine physical exam – schedule a preventive health visit every one to two years, beginning at age 40; beginning at age 50, schedule a visit every year.
Blood pressure – get tested at least every two years if your reading is below 120/80; get tested once a year if it’s between 120/80 and 139/89; discuss treatment with your doctor if your blood pressure is 140/90 or higher.
Cholesterol – starting at age 35, get a cholesterol test regularly. Ask your doctor how often you need your cholesterol tested. Frequency may vary, due to personal risk factors.
Diabetes – get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure. Otherwise, ask your doctor how often you need to be tested. Frequency may vary, due to personal risk factors.
Colorectal cancer – get screened at age 50 (earlier if you have a family history of colorectal cancer). Several different tests can detect this cancer; ask your doctor which type and frequency of test is best for you.
Prostate cancer – have a digital rectal exam at age 40 (earlier if you have a family history) and annually thereafter. Ask you doctor about whether or not he/she recommends a PSA blood test.
Skin cancer – perform a self exam monthly and have a clinical exam every three years (more often if you have a family history of skin cancer).
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm – one-time screening for men, between the ages of 65 and 75, who have a history of smoking.
Additionally: be sure all immunizations are up to date, get a flu shot annually and a tetanus vaccination every 10 years. Talk with your doctor about other vaccinations you might need, such as shots to prevent pneumonia and shingles.
Now, print out this list, wrap it in pretty paper, tie it with a bow and present it to your dad on Father’s Day. Say, “I want you to live long and well and I will do whatever it takes to make that happen. I will make the appointment with your doctor, drive or accompany you to the doctor’s office and nag you until you agree to make the visit.
“Your health is important to me. You are important to me. Happy Father’s Day!”
St. Anthony’s Family Medicine is located at 12700 Southfork Road, Suite 230. To make an appointment with Dr. Alan Padua or any other St. Anthony’s Medical Center physician, call 314-ANTHONY (268-4669).
For information, please call our Health Access Line at 314-ANTHONY (268-4669) or 800-554-9550 or visit find a physician online.
At St. Anthony's, our vision is to be the area's premier health care organization
— and your first choice for health care services.