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Father’s Day highlights the importance of men’s health

— Our lives are busy. It can be hard to make time for doctor’s appointments or to take care of ourselves. But, June is Men’s Health Month, a time to educate ourselves about preventable health problems and the importance of early detection and treatment. With Father’s Day just around the corner and Men’s Health Month already in full swing, it’s a good time to focus on the men in our lives — fathers, friends, sons, brothers, uncles, husbands and grandfathers — and their health.

With preventable illnesses like heart disease on the rise, good health practices are key to a long life. And taking preventive measures are the best way to maintain good health. Women are 100 percent more likely to visit the doctor for annual examinations and preventive services than men — we need to change that.

I know firsthand the danger and repercussions of putting off medical treatment. A few years ago I put off going to the doctor, and it turned out that I had an enlarged prostate. I ended up in urgent care, and a few months later, I had to have surgery. I was lucky my problem wasn’t cancerous and could be resolved with a single surgery. However, the doctors said they might have been able to treat it without surgery had I gone in a year earlier — when the problems began. Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death among men. Routine check-ups and exams are incredibly important; they could save your life.

From regular exercise and a balanced diet to routine checkups with our doctors, we need to do a better job of taking care of ourselves. However, the unexpected can happen, and it’s important that we have resources in place to take care of our loved ones when their health is out of our hands. For this reason, and to honor my own father and his contributions to our community, I am hosting my eighth annual Lifesavers Blood Drive. In the village of Clyde, my father used to sponsor a similar yearly blood drive, teaching me the importance of donating blood on a regular basis.

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