Bug your dad about seeing a doctor this Father’s Day. It may save his life

Father’s Day is Sunday, making it the perfect time to check in with your dad about his health and encourage him to see the doctor if he hasn’t got in a while.

“I see people that come into my office and I ask them, ‘Hey, why are you here, Joe?’ and they’ll say my family’s been bugging me about coming in. So, bug them to come in, it works,” said John Hanicak, MD, family medicine physician for Cleveland Clinic. “And we see the downstream effects of that. So, they do show up and you get things taken care of, catch things early.”

Dr. Hanicak said there are all kinds of reasons someone may delay seeing the doctor, like maybe they’ve just been really busy, or they didn’t think the pain or discomfort they’re experiencing was a big deal.

But, the sooner a person comes in, the better. Then their doctor can help treat the issue before it turns into something serious.

It’s also important not to delay screenings or tests.

For example, prostate cancer exams are typically recommended around 50.

They may be needed sooner if there’s family history.

Speaking of family history, Dr. Hanicak said parents need to make sure they’re talking to their children about genetic concerns, too.

“If you haven’t seen your doctor for a long time, don’t be afraid to check in with us,” he added. “We’re not going to yell at you because your cholesterol is high. Our job is to help you to be the best person that you can be. But, the first step is coming in for that appointment to catch up and see how things are going.”

Dr. Hanicak said talking to men about their mental health is just as important.

He knows it can be a sensitive topic for some, but it’s worth addressing.

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