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Points to Remember for No Shave November - Odessa American: Medically Speaking

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Points to Remember for No Shave November

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Posted: Monday, November 24, 2014 12:00 am

   Why is it talking about testicles and testosterone STILL taboo in the 21st century? Levi Stone, RN, MSN, Chief Nursing Officer/Chief Operating Officer at Odessa Regional Medical Center and his amazing team of men: Allan Espina RN, MSN; William Nall, RN, BSN; and T.J. Mosley RN, BSN want to encourage men to be proactive about their health and definitely do not hold back on giving pertinent advice to all men, and the people who love them.  Men need to take control of their health for themselves and their families. No shave November is about cancer awareness, exams and getting an annual checkup, but prostate and testicular cancer is just the tip of the iceberg. Getting an annual check-up is like maintaining your car. You wouldn’t just let your engine burn up for lack of maintenance, so why would you let your body?

   Beginning at the age of 25, all men should begin getting yearly exams by a primary care physician. You should be monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol levels and getting your prostate checked. Prostate cancer is the #1 cancer in men and even though getting a prostate exam isn’t the most comfortable experience, when prostate cancer is caught in early stages, curing it has a 99% success rate.

   Beginning around the age of 40, testosterone begins decreasing in men 2-4% every year. A man may have a hard time accepting this, but with a decrease in testosterone comes a decrease in libido, focus and sometimes depression. It is extremely important you talk to your doctor about ALL of your symptoms so you can get on a hormone replacement regimen (injections, creams or pills) instead of anti-depressants, or a little blue pill, which may actually make symptoms worse.

   It doesn’t stop there. Men are incredibly reluctant to talk about any health issue. It may be intimidating, embarrassing or even ego. However, if you have a trusting relationship with your physician, you will actually realize there are an abundance of men experiencing the same issues as you. The first step is to educate yourself. Research your symptoms, research doctors and be prepared to present your doctor with every sign and symptom you are experiencing. Come with a list of questions and be completely honest with your doctor. Ask about therapies and treatments and be insistent in finding the root cause of your problem, so your doctor visit is productive leaving no stone unturned.

   No one plans on having health issues, but get to a doctor before your health becomes a life changing event. Being embarrassed or stubborn is not worth your family not getting to enjoy their time with you.

  If you are participating in No Shave November, do what them men at ORMC are doing: If you get asked about the excess hair on your face, let them know that you don’t just #letitgrow for no reason and you’re not just #feelingnuts, but you are becoming more proactive about your health and the importance of raising awareness for healthy men.

  For more information on men’s health, visit the ORMC website at www.odessaregional.com

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