February is the month of roses, chocolates and showing your love for those you care about. What better way to show you care for that special someone than encouraging them to get their recommended health screenings? Sure, health screenings can sometimes be uncomfortable. They take time. Some of them can be costly. There are plenty of excuses why people put off health screenings.
Lack of knowledge is a big reason why most people don’t take advantage of the screenings available to them. For example, according to a 2006 survey conducted by the National Cancer Institute, 57 percent of women said they were “unaware that they should receive mammograms to screen for breast cancer beginning at age 40.” The same study reported that only 60 percent of those surveyed knew the name of the screening for colorectal cancer.
Fear is another common reason. A 2004 study showed that 60 percent of African American and Caribbean men avoided prostate cancer screenings because they ‘feared impotence and incontinence after treatment if diagnosed.” Urology Specialists of Nevada encourages yearly “prostate-specific antigen” (PSA) screenings for men starting in their 50s and 60s. Men that are at higher risk should begin screening at age 45.
While health screenings can be scary, especially if you’re at a higher risk, it is also one of the best ways to take control of your health. So encourage the woman you love to get her yearly mammograms. Drag the man in your life to the doctor for his PSA check. Because it might be awhile before Hallmark creates an “I love you, please take care of your health” card.