THE doctors at The Emeline Medical Centre in Malvern are pleased to be offering a variety of services in areas of men’s health, to help men stay happy and healthy and close the life expectancy gap with women.
“We’re really keen at our practice to change the perceptions of healthcare for men as this sort of dreadful experience; in a musty, crowded waiting room, with the doctor running an hour late, who doesn’t know you from a bar of soap, to a pleasant experience in a nice space with somebody who knows you, understands your health priorities and works with you over time towards your health goals,” says Emeline GP Dr Peter Semaan.
“And we find generally that where services are more accessible, patients can get treatment for their health conditions sooner.”
A male born in recent years can expect to live up to four years less than a female, and yet almost half of deaths in people aged under 75 years are potentially preventable, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Wellness.
Semaan is passionate about men’s health and establishing long-term relationships with patients to help achieve positive outcomes throughout life.
“Going to the doctor isn’t the most exciting part of everyone’s day. But staying healthy is a bit like maintaining a car – keep it serviced at the appropriate interval and you’re likely to get more miles out of it and have a lower chance of breaking down when you’re driving across the Nullarbor!”
Many men live long, healthy and happy lives and keep their required doctors’ visits to a minimum and that’s ultimately the goal, argues Semaan.
“The evidence supports a variety of health screening interventions, monitoring and vaccinations for all men. It’s important to identify and manage chronic diseases effectively to minimise their impact on one’s life. Things start to get a little more involved once you turn 50, but having a doctor that knows you well and keeping up to date with everything can add a lot of value to your care.
“The focus is always on following the latest evidence to target health monitoring with the available interventions, and match that up to one’s own health priorities.”
Bowel cancer screening checks are available every two years from the age of 50, and at a younger age in some patients with risk factors such as a family history.
“If you’d have told somebody 100 years ago that if they poo into a container it could save their life, they’d have thought you were mad. But it’s true!”
Prostate cancer screening also forms an important part of preventative health screening for many men aged over 50, with several advances in risk stratification and treatment modalities in recent years.
“We’re often seeing patients receiving much less invasive treatments than used to be the case, and risk stratification including using MRI scans playing a more prominent role.”
The doctors at The Emeline have also noticed that some of the community stigma around mental illness has disappeared and it’s starting to get treated just like any other health condition.
“It’s been really great to see men being a lot more comfortable in recent years to discuss their mental health challenges and get help when they need it.
“Men are three times more likely than women to die from suicide, which is a real tragedy and something that ought to be absolutely preventable.”
And men often work in occupations in which they are more likely to receive a lot of UV exposure over the years, which can lead to an increased risk of skin cancers.
“Skin cancers are very common in Australia, but as GPs we often opportunistically examine our patients’ skin and can diagnose and treat many common types of skin cancer.
“We’re certainly happy to see men about anything that they have any concerns about, and our goal is always to look after their health so that they can keep doing the things they love with their family and friends for as long as possible and age healthily and well.”
To book your appointment at The Emeline, call 03 9088 4133 or visit emeline.com.au.
‘ Going to the doctor isn’t the most exciting part of everyone’s day. But staying healthy is a bit like maintaining a car – keep it serviced at the appropriate interval and you’re likely to get more miles out of it. ‘