Black men are more likely to talk about sports than about their health, according to Leroy (Butch) Young. Starting the conversation about health and wellness is essential and that’s why Janssen Oncology is supporting education and resources to help patients have these important conversations.
There are several diseases, both common and rare, that disproportionally impact the Black population. While multiple myeloma comprises only ~2% of all new cancer cases in the United States, it is the most common blood cancer among the Black population, and they are twice as likely to be diagnosed compared with other Americans. Having a routine healthcare appointment, vocalizing symptoms to your health care providers, and demonstrating urgency when anticipating a diagnosis are all critical components of achieving the best possible treatment outcomes for this serious disease.
In Partnership with Janssen Oncology, ESSENCE created a special series featuring Dr. Jen Caudle, a board-certified Family Medicine physician and Associate Professor in the department of Family Medicine at Rowan University-School of Osteopathic Medicine. Recently, Butch and his wife, Robin, talked with Dr. Jen about Black men taking charge of their own health.
Taking the First Step
“I never took care of myself, never went to the doctor—until I got married,” says Butch. It was Robin who encouraged him to get a primary care doctor and get checked out, “I am so proud of him for taking care of himself and going to the doctor more often.” It was his children who inspired Butch to act. “We need to get Black men talking,” says Butch. “It’s important that they understand that they need to get checked. This didn’t happen in the past, but it’s a new day and our children and their children need to take care of themselves.”
If you want to hear more of this vital conversation with Butch, Robin, and Dr. Jen, watch the video now on Essence.com.
What to Ask Your Doctor
Your primary care physician is trained to treat illnesses while helping you lead a healthier life every day and helping reduce your chances of developing a health problem. So, here are a few questions to ask at your next appointment:
• What wellness tests should I have and how often? Depending on your family history, you may want to get tested for high cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar.
• How can I eat a more nutritious diet? Most physicians are trained in nutrition, so they can help you make healthy choices.
• What is the best exercise plan for me? Whether you’re looking for a new routine or recovering from an injury, your doctor can help point you in the right direction.
• What do I need to know about my medications? Make sure you know the name and dosage of any medication that you’re taking, and ask your doctor if it’s OK to combine it with over-the-counter medicines, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. And if you are experiencing any side effects, this is also a great time to discuss that!
• What about cancer screenings? Most people don’t experience cancer symptoms when the disease is in its earliest stages. That’s why screenings are recommended at certain times and intervals throughout your life. Click here to see a full list of cancer screenings by age to help you know when to ask the important questions.
What Is Multiple Myeloma?
It is a cancer of plasma cells, a specific type of white blood cells that normally help fight infections. These cancerous cells also replace normal cells with tumors, usually in the bone marrow, which can cause pain or fractures. The symptoms of multiple myeloma can vary from person to person—and some people have no symptoms at all.
To learn more about multiple myeloma go to ThatsMyWordMM.com today!
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