What Health Checks Should Men Get?
No matter your age, level of physical fitness, or how good you seem to feel each day, danger could be lurking in the form of an underlying medical condition that can, at some point, wreak havoc with your health and life.
However, since many men feel invincible and do everything possible to avoid visiting a doctor, many health issues happen unnecessarily. Whether it’s diabetes, heart disease, or even cancer, many potentially serious problems can be successfully treated if detected early.
Because of this, men must check their health regularly if they want to achieve their well-being goals. As to which men’s health screenings and men’s health tests are the most important to you living a long and healthy life, here are some men’s health check recommendations you’ll want to keep in mind.
What Is Health Screening?
Essentially, male screening tests should be thought of as you make a preemptive strike against a potentially serious health condition or disease. The biggest benefit you will gain from these screenings is that you will be doing so before any symptoms or signs of trouble emerge, meaning something can be detected early on and treated much easier and more successfully.
Basic Medical Test List for Men
When compiling your men’s health screening tests list, always ensure you have many, if not all, of the following ones on your to-do list.
1. Blood pressure test
2. Prostate screening
4. Cholesterol screening
5. Skin cancer screening
6. Diabetes screening
9. Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening
10. STD screening
11. Hepatitis C test
While this may look like a long list filled with tests and screenings that will take up lots of your valuable time, most of these tests can be done quickly and easily by your doctor or other health professionals. You can even take some of them home, like the testosterone test. Thus, you have one less excuse for not getting these tests that can save your life.
What Should Men Be Screened For?
Now that you know why it is important to check your health regularly, let’s dive into the specifics of the tests mentioned above. You’ll learn more about:
· how often men should do a total health check,
· what a men’s full health check involves,
· which men’s health tests should be done every year,
· and what tests are recommended by age.
Blood Pressure Test
A test that you should have once every year, a blood pressure screening is quick, easy, and can lower your risk of serious health problems such as:
· Kidney disease
· Heart disease
With most men of all ages, normal blood pressure will be 120/80 or lower. However, should you have a family history of high blood pressure or have your test reveal a reading that is high enough for concern, catching it early can let you get started on medication or make lifestyle changes that may be a lifesaver.
If there is one test many men tend to ignore due to the dreaded digital rectal exam that is a prostate screening. However, you must remember that a minute or two of discomfort and perhaps embarrassment will be worth it if it saves your life.
Along with the rectal exam done by your doctor, you should also get a prostate-specific antigen blood test, commonly referred to as the PSA test. A type of cancer that can be detected early and treated very successfully, prostate cancer remains one of the leading types of cancer deaths in men nationwide.
When should men start getting health checks for their prostate? You should get your initial prostate cancer screening at age 50. However, if you have a family history of prostate cancer with your father or another close relative, you may want to get your first screening at age 40.
Like prostate cancer, colon cancer also unnecessarily kills many men yearly. However, getting a colonoscopy can let your doctor find and remove polyps that may just be starting to turn cancerous for cancer that develops slowly over time.
Though you will be required to do some prep work at home before the day of your colonoscopy, the inconvenience will be worth the effort should you find out you are in the early stages of colon cancer. If you’ve asked why you should check your health regularly, being able to discover colon cancer in its early stages is all the answers you will ever need.
A procedure recommended annually, you should begin initial screenings when you turn 45. If your family has a history of colon cancer, 40 is the recommended age for your first screening.
Even if you are in the picture of health, eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, you can still have high cholesterol. Because of this, it is recommended men’s health check this aspect of their lives each year. So when you ask yourself what tests men should have yearly, a cholesterol screening should be a top priority.
Testing for elevated levels of triglycerides as well as your levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and “good” cholesterol (HDL), this screening is done through a simple blood test taken after you have fasted for about 12 hours. Doctors recommend an initial test be done as soon as age 20. Once you turn 35, plan on getting an annual cholesterol test.
Skin Cancer Screening
Men are much more likely to develop skin cancer than women, which is why this is another quick and easy screening to get each year. In fact, as to how men can check their health, this is one thing you can do on your own that may help your doctor head off skin cancer before it becomes serious and spreads.
Check your entire body each month for any changes in moles’ color, size, or shape. If you notice anything unusual or painful, visit your doctor for an in-depth screening.
When diabetes goes unchecked, it can result in heart disease and other problems that may result in premature death. However, when discovered early, it can be managed, leading to far fewer health complications later.
Once you turn 45, get an annual diabetes screening for Types 1 and 2. Should you have family members who have diabetes, or you are obese or suffer from high blood pressure, your doctor will want you to begin screenings much earlier in your life.
Testosterone and Biomarkers Check
Generally, you will want to get a test for the possibility of low testosterone and other issues with other hormones or biomarkers if you are under age 40. You can also take the test when you start noticing various problems such as weight loss, hair loss, loss of muscle mass, or the onset of acne. Should your doctor discover you are dealing with low-T, changes in your lifestyle and possibly hormone therapy may be the answer to your problem.
When many men like yourself start to list the various health screenings and tests they need, a depression screening rarely cuts. However, suppose you find yourself constantly dealing with stress and having problems with concentration, motivation, and energy levels. In that case, a depression screening may be very helpful and necessary.
Believe it or not, over 6 million American men suffer from depression yearly, most of which go untreated. Therefore, if you’ve felt much more depressed for more than two weeks, screening is needed.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening
A test many men fail to consider, if any, an AAA screening should be done annually if you are between 65 and 75 and have smoked or used other tobacco products regularly.
Done through an imaging test such as an MRI, CT scan, or ultrasound, this screening may detect the presence of an aneurysm. Fatal internal bleeding is a real possibility if you suffer a rupture of this nature.
A test that is slowly becoming more popular as part of routine health screenings with men, you should talk to your doctor about getting an AAA screening if you fall into the high-risk category.
No matter your current level of sexual activity or even if you are in a monogamous relationship with your spouse or partner, it is still recommended that you get screened for HIV and other sexually-transmitted diseases.
Since this screening can vary among men regarding how often they should get tested, you should talk to your doctor regarding your situation. However, most experts recommend that if you are a man aged 65 or younger, an STD screening is necessary.
Hepatitis C Test
Finally, don’t forget to get tested for the Hepatitis C virus since it is the top cause of liver cancer in the United States. You should get this blood test if you were born between 1945-1965, got a blood transfusion before 1992, or ever injected drugs into your body.
Don’t Take Your Health for Granted
Yes, it’s a long list of tests and screenings you, as a man, should regularly have. However, by choosing not to take your health for granted and simply assume all is well with your mind and body, you can have a much healthier and happier life, possibly saving your life. In addition, you’ll gain peace of mind and good health by scheduling these tests soon.