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Men: Take Charge of Your Health

Men: Take Charge of Your Health

Father’s Day is almost here and what do dads everywhere need? Good health! Dr. Mark Hsu wants fathers and all men to know they need to be more proactive about their health. As a urologist with Washington Township Medical Foundation, Dr. Hsu treats a variety of health problems that men face, including prostate and urination issues, kidney stones, and erectile dysfunction.

“The biggest thing for men is that we tend to be reactive when we seek medical care,” he said. “We wait until something doesn’t feel right. But it’s important to be proactive. Get your health screenings and stay focused on prevention.”

This week is National Men’s Health Week (June 12-18), a great time to focus on your health. The annual observance is held every year during the week leading up to Father’s Day to raise awareness about the need for men to get regular health screenings to prevent serious health complications.

“I really encourage men to think more holistically about their health,” Dr. Hsu cautioned. “I don’t believe that most men think about ‘overall wellness’ when they think of their health.”

Part of staying healthy is keeping your numbers in check. High blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels increase your risk for a number of health issues like heart disease, stroke and diabetes. According to Dr. Hsu, these issues can often affect a person’s urinary and sexual health. He said men should consider getting an annual exam that includes preventive screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index (BMI) and an AIC test to measure blood sugar.

“Lifestyle choices like exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating a nutritious diet can help keep these numbers down,” he added. “Cancer screenings are also critical when it comes to prevention.”

Cancer Screenings

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer for men in the U.S. and the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men, according to the National Cancer Institute. The prostate is a gland in men that helps make semen.

A PSA test is a blood test used to screen for prostate cancer. The test measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in your blood. Dr. Hsu recommends talking to your doctor to determine when you should get a PSA test and how often. It often depends on your risk factors for prostate cancer and whether you have had other issues with your prostate.

A colonoscopy is another tool for preventing cancer. It screens for colorectal cancer, the third leading cause of cancer deaths among men. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends getting a colonoscopy starting at age 45.

Testicular cancer is a rarer type of cancer, but men should still do periodic self-exams for early detection, according to Dr. Hsu. He suggested getting into the habit of checking the testicles for any irregularities while in the shower, and to notify your physician if you feel or see an abnormality.

Don’t Forget Mental Health

“I think mental health is also a very underestimated and under-reported issue,” Dr. Hsu said. “We have been seeing a lot more anxiety and depression – especially since the pandemic. It’s important for men to think about their mental health and to not be afraid or embarrassed to seek help.”

Dr. Hsu encourages men to have a physical and mental outlet. He said exercise, sports activities, and introspective activities such as meditation are not only good for your body, but can also help with mental health. Having a social network of family and friends is also very beneficial, he added.

“I really encourage men to be proactive rather than reactive about their health,” Dr. Hsu stressed. “Have a relationship with a regular health care provider who can follow you over time. They can help you get the appropriate screenings and refer you to the right resources needed.”

For information about Dr. Hsu and Washington Township Medical Foundation, visit