Relationship, Regular Check-Ups with Primary Care Physician, Dr. Yang Xu, Saves Fred Kalsbeek's Life

Fred Kalsbeek has built a relationship with Dr. Yang Xu, his primary care physician, over the years and knows first-hand the impact it makes on his health.

Getting a checkup at your doctor isn't something most men look forward to, but it could save your life. And for one Little Rock man, he believes it did.

In a lot of cases, doctors and men just don’t mix. Whether that's because they're wanting to feel manly and strong or because they're busy, either way, waiting to see your doctor can kill you.

“I've seen some men in their 60's coming to the physicians for the first time since they were kids. By the time I see them, their problems are so bad there's not a lot I can do at that point,” said Dr. Yang Xu with CHI St. Vincent.

Dr. Xu says you should not just go see your doctor when you are sick. It is just as important to get an annual physical exam or a wellness visit.

Doctors can check your cholesterol, check on your vaccinations and find problems before it is too late.

“Realistically, we probably save as many lives doing that as anything else we do,” said Dr. Xu.

That was the case for Fred Kalsbeek.

“It was a normal annual exam, I wasn't having any serious problems. But I had a blemish on the back of my neck.”

In Fred’s case, there was a spot that was worrisome. That worry led to a life-saving appointment with a dermatologist.

“They immediately jumped on it and found out it was stage four melanoma cancer. And if Dr. Xu hadn't noticed it, I'm not sure I'd be alive today. And that's not an exaggeration,” said Kalsbeek.

Dr. Xu says once you do see your doctor, try not to guess what your medical problem is. Just tell the doctor your symptoms. Dr. Xu says that's what will help your doctor discover what's really going on as quickly as possible.