Aaron C. Hoffmann greets patients at Lytle

Aaron C. Hoffmann FNP-C at Lytle Community Health Center, part of Atascosa Health Center Inc. LISA LUNA | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

Too often, men neglect their health and, unfortunately, this all too often leads to serious health problems and premature death. On average, men die almost six years earlier than women and suffer higher mortality rates for the main causes of death. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Atascosa Health Center, Inc. (AHC) wants to shine the spotlight on men’s health during this national awareness month. The goal of National Men’s Health Month is to help educate men about preventable health conditions and to encourage early detection and treatment of disease.

Among those encouraging men to focus on preventative health is Aaron C. Hoffmann FNP-C, at Lytle Community Health Center, located at 19010 Priest Drive in Lytle. NP Hoffmann joined the medical team at Atascosa Health Center, Inc. in 2016, and believes that prevention is key and encourages screening for early detection before symptoms occur. NP Hoffman asks patients to consider these men’s health statistics:

• Only 3 in 5 men get annual medical checkups and only 40% of men go to the doctor when they think they have a serious medical condition (Cleveland Clinic)

• 450,000 men die each year from cardiovascular diseases (CDC).

• Over 700,000 men are diagnosed with some type of cancer each year; 300,000 of these cases will result in death (Men’s Health Resource Center).

• 230,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. It is the second leading cause of death in men (Cancer.org)

• More than 60% of American adult men are overweight or obese (National Institutes of Health).

NP Hoffmann said two of the top male health issues to screen for are colorectal cancer and prostate cancer. Both guidelines recently changed, with colorectal cancer screenings recommended for people 45 and older. NP Hoffmann says that in addition to regular checkups, awareness should be practiced. This means that you need to familiarize yourself with your body. This way you will notice any changes, such as bleeding or unusual bowel movements. Then report them to your doctor right away. Early detection is your best chance of survival.

Generally, when NP Hoffmann sees male patients, it is not because they have scheduled screening; it’s because they need treatment for an acute illness like a sinus infection or a sore throat.

“That’s when I grab them and say, ‘While you’re here, have you had your colonoscopy? “”

As NP Hoffmann explained, the US Preventative Task Force advises men to first discuss screening with their healthcare provider when it comes to prostate cancer screenings. A person’s risk is based on other factors such as ethnicity, family history, and symptoms.

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer and if caught early has a high cure rate. Prostate cancer can often be detected early by testing levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in a man’s blood. Another way to detect prostate cancer is through digital rectal examination (DRE).

Says NP Hoffmann, “It’s always good to get a PSA periodically and see if they’re trending, especially if they’re symptomatic. But that’s a conversation I have with every patient.

He also advised, “I think we could all improve our health. When you go to the doctor, it’s a good idea to check your cholesterol levels. It’s good to have your kidneys checked. It may be a motivator to eat healthier and exercise more. The answer is not always medication.

He added that when you have someone in your corner to cheer you on, you’re more likely to take those positive steps like eating healthier or sleeping better.

NP Hoffmann comes from a long line of healthcare professionals. Originally from San Antonio, NP Hoffmann’s healthcare career began in 2006 at the VA, working as an LVN on the medical surgery floor. While attending LVN school, he discovered he had a knack for the medical field. Hoffmann said, “I love taking care of people. I find it enriching. I think the heavenly Father puts you where he wants you. It was then that he returned to school to obtain his registered nursing degree. NP Hoffmann received his undergraduate degree from the University of the Incarnate Word. He completed his graduate studies at Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi. He also holds special certification to treat substance abuse disorders. The Texas Department of Health and Human Services recently awarded him a grant in which he signed a three-year contract to provide the service.

“I did cross-training in intensive care, worked in some progressive care units, then was assigned to the emergency room, where I spent the rest of my VA life,” said NP Hoffmann. .

He worked there for about nine years, then attended nurse practitioner school, before working with AHC.

NP Hoffmann treats his patients for a variety of ailments, serious and general. NP Hoffmann sees patients of all ages for a wide range of issues. He also performs limited procedures such as joint injections, nail removals, and simple suturing, to name a few. Additionally, he performs Department of Transportation medical examinations and treats patients with Accutane, as well as an iPledge registered provider.

“When you’re in rural medicine, you have to wear a lot of hats because we see a lot of uninsured uninsured patients. So I do my best to manage cardiovascular issues, diabetes, thyroid issues and hypertension and that’s the bread and butter of primary care.

So if you’re a man who might ignore the obvious when it comes to your health, see your primary care provider and get checked out. If you’re proactive about your health, but know someone who isn’t, encourage them. NP Hoffmann is currently accepting new patients and can also motivate and encourage you to be proactive.

An active swimmer, he swims every morning with the American Masters Swim team. This year he participated in the Nationals Masters Invitational. He and his wife also recently competed in their first triathlon in Austin. NP Hoffmann has been married to his beautiful wife Amy for 19 years and they are blessed with five children. NP Hoffmann is currently accepting new patients. He sees patients Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can make an appointment by calling 830-772-9865.

Atascosa Health Center serves residents with seven locations in Atascosa, Karnes, Live Oak, McMullen and Wilson counties. AHC sees everyone while providing quality primary health care services and accepts all major insurance plans. They offer a sliding scale fee rebate program for underinsured and uninsured patients. So, no more excuses. Don’t be a statistic. Make an appointment today.

About Sally Dominguez

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