5 Essential Screenings for Men's Health
Though a man may feel and look healthy, his potential for some life-altering conditions increases as he ages. Luckily, your doctor can help you prevent and detect many health issues early with screenings at your annual wellness visit. Here are the five essential screenings every adult male should receive regularly.
A simple blood sample indicates the level of good and bad cholesterol in your body. Experts recommend you have your levels checked every five years once you turn 35. Early screening should begin at age 20 if you have any of the following risk factors:
2. Blood Pressure
“High blood pressure is linked to heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke. These potential consequences make it important to check your blood pressure regularly,” says Thomas Campbell, MD, physician at CHI St. Joseph Health Primary Care University Drive. Normal blood pressure is considered to be 120/80 mm Hg or below. If you’re within the normal range, experts recommend getting screened at least every two years. If you show a reading above 120/80 mm Hg, your doctor may recommend screening more often.
If you have a high BMI, high blood pressure, or a family history of diabetes, your doctor may want to test you for the condition. The three testing methods to diagnose diabetes are:
- Hemoglobin A1C blood test
- A fasting plasma glucose test
- Oral glucose tolerance test
A confirmed diagnosis requires a positive result from at least two of the tests.
4. Prostate Cancer
Screening options for prostate cancer include the digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. Experts encourage men at average risk of prostate cancer to discuss screening with their doctors at age 50 or even sooner if they have a higher risk. Those at increased risk include men of African descent and those with a family history of prostate cancer.
5. Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women according to the American Cancer Society. Typically, screening begins at 50 unless you have a family history of colorectal cancer. A colonoscopy can detect cancer in the early stages when it’s most treatable. Talk with your doctor about screening frequency and what testing options are available to you.
MedlinePlus | Health screenings for men ages 18 to 39
MedlinePlus | Health screenings for men ages 40 to 64
Healthline | Medical Tests Every Man Should Get
American Cancer Society | Stats for Colorectal Cancer