Healthcare provider, prostate cancer patient encourage men to take charge of their health

Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 10:04 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - June is Men’s Health Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), men in the United States, on average, die 5 years earlier than women and die at higher rates from the three leading causes of death, heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injuries.

Throughout the month, healthcare providers encourage men to take control of their overall health.

Eddie Simmons is a patient at LewisGale Medical Center sharing his story about being diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was able to catch prostate cancer early and get treatment right away.

Simmons encourages men to prioritize their health because prevention is what helped him.

Dr. Chistopher Starks, M.D., is a board-certified surgical urologist at LewisGale. He believes men of every age should make visiting the doctor a priority.

“The take-home point that I would have for my male patients would be it’s scary to be screened for prostate cancer. It’s not fun to have a digital exam. But the other take-home point for why it’s so important to come in --- there’s a lot of other ways that we can help,” said Dr. Starks.

Dr. Starks has performed extensive research in the areas of male urology and infertility. He believes men at any age should monitor their overall health, especially their prostate.

Health experts report 1 in 4 Black men will get prostate cancer in their lifetimes. Black men are more likely to get prostate cancer than other men, who have a 1 in 8 chance of getting prostate cancer.

“Find ways to get in, because you need to be checked. If you have to sit out in the lobby for two hours, or three hours, hey, it’s better to be laying in the lobby for two to three hours and landing in a grave or being in the hospital for life,” said Simmons.

Simmons says he is grateful to Dr. Starks and his team for helping his life return back to normal.

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