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Men's Health: Silent health care

Men's Health: Silent health care

It's no secret that most people don't like going to the doctor. But early detection of colon cancer can save your life.

Particularly for men, it's time to put the excuses aside and get serious about health, because it takes more than an apple a day to keep the doctor away.

Americans use preventive health services at about half the recommended rate. According to the CDC, women are 33 percent more likely than men to visit a doctor, and 100 percent more likely to visit a doctor for annual exams.

"The only reason I would go is if I'm dying," said 24-year-old Austin Green.

From probe-a-phobia to time constraints, Dr. Stephen Miniat has heard all the excuses--but he recommends men go to the doctor at least once a year.

"You can get away with it for a while, but sooner or later you're going to pay the price," he says.

So what are men really worried about?

"I think it would be cancer," answered 52-year-old Jerone McQueen.

According to the American Cancer Society, about one in every nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. What age should men start being screened for it?

According to Jack Rowell, between the ages of 40 and 45.

The recommended age for a colonoscopy is age 50, for both a prostate exam and a colonoscopy, unless you've got symptoms, or a family history of either cancer.

"You're actually trying to catch a cancer before it occurs and if you can do that, then your success is much greater," Miniat said.

Men between the ages of 20 and 69 are almost twice as likely as women to have hearing loss, according to the Journal of the American Medical Assocaition.

What's to blame? Dr. Miniat says it could be a number of things.

"Work environment can make a big difference, any exposure to loud sounds makes a difference," he said.

According to the Mayo Clinic, after age 30 or 40, testosterone levels generally decline about one percent, each year. Dr. Miniat says there are several testosterone replacement therapy options, but they can have side effects.

"People who use testosterone are at an increased risk of having heart attacks, strokes and cancer," he said.

The message here? Go to the doctor.

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