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Men's health matters: Overcoming fear, taking control of your well-being this Men's Health Month

"Fear of the diagnosis. That’s what keeps most people out of the doctor’s office," said UT Physicians Nurse Practitioner Omar Sandoval.

HOUSTON — Most people, especially men, don’t like to visit the doctor. But with June being Men's Health Month there’s a push to get more men to know their health matters.

“For most people, it’s the waiting that’s the worst. Fear of the diagnosis. That’s what keeps most people out of the doctor’s office — but especially men,” said UT Physicians Nurse Practitioner Omar Sandoval.

He said it is better to know than to fear the unknown.

“For me, it was about getting ahead of it, instead of waiting until I was afraid and facing down the barrel of the problem,” patient Tony Gonzales said.

Gonzales wasn’t always so proactive about his health but as he got older, it became a priority.

“Everyone so far, that I’ve met is just afraid they’re going to be told that they have something wrong with them,” Sandoval said. “That is a general fear and anxiety for everyone. Including health care providers.”

He said patients shouldn’t wait until there’s a problem to think about their health.

“I see a lot of Hispanic men, unfortunately, coming in that have not had routine health care for 20-plus years,” Sandoval said. (They have) diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, some even have some starts of cancers.”

Sandoval said he’s seeing a lot of prostate and colon cancers right now.
“It’s better to know than not to know,” he said. “Having some knowledge is definitely some power.”

Sandoval is hopeful men, especially those of color, express their own self-love in the form of a doctor’s visit.

“I do care about myself. (I) want to make sure I’m the best version of myself for other people that I care about, and without taking care of my physical self, I don’t know how I can be that person,” Gonzales said.

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