GHS launches new Men's Health Center to encourage men to go see - FOX Carolina 21

GHS launches new Men's Health Center to encourage men to go see a doctor

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Johnny Payne, prostate cancer survivor, encourages men to make doctor's appointments. (FOX Carolina/ June 23, 2016) Johnny Payne, prostate cancer survivor, encourages men to make doctor's appointments. (FOX Carolina/ June 23, 2016)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

When Johnny Payne first heard the word cancer, it shocked him.

"I had two tumors- I learned when I got my biopsy. And more than likely I may not be here today," Johnny Payne said. He found out at a health fair during a prostate screening sponsored by an employer.

"No symptoms, no symptoms at all. And that's one there issues with prostate cancer- many, many times especially in its early stages," he said.

And like many men, before he received his diagnosis he didn't go to a doctor as often as he should have.

"I had a very aggressive form of cancer we learned later. We don't want to go to the doctor. I think it's part of being macho, part of being- we're afraid," Payne said.

And now doctors with the Greenville Health System are trying to change that.

"Men use the healthcare system at only 1/3 the rate of women," said Dr. William Flanagan, the director of the Men's Health Center at the Greenville Health System Regional Urology Center.

"Men don't get the care they need when they need it," he said.

So, there now a day setup just for men when doctors will only see male patients for a period of time.

"Our focus on this day where were devoted to men's health is not just to look at the urology, but to look at how it affects other thinks like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes," Flanagan said.

He believes men will feel more comfortable to talk about health concerns on their doctor day.

"Prostate cancer is a perfect example of situations where if we see you sooner, we can help you," Flanagan said.

And Payne turned his diagnosis into and advocacy to help others and leads a prostate cancer support group. "I'm encouraging men to speak out. I let them know it's OK," Payne said.

Men's Day at the GHS Men's Health Center will be held every third and fourth Thursday of the month. Doctors will see male patients from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. Doctors say patients don't have to be referred by their primary doctors, but they do need to make appointments. Doctors say new patients are also welcomed.

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