Screening means testing for diseases and conditions that are not presenting symptoms. Research shows that men are less likely than women to get routine physical exams and screenings although it is not less important for them to do it in order to safeguard their health.
The American Heart Association recommends that all adults over the age of 35 have their cholesterol checked every five years. For people with certain risk factors such as diabetes, smoking, and a family history of stroke, screenings should begin at 20 years. High cholesterol increases the risk of heart attacks, stroke, and chest pain.
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Blood pressure testing
Blood pressure screenings should be done at least every two years for people within a normal range and at least once a year for those with elevated levels. People at a risk for heart disease and stroke or those who smoke cigarettes or suffer from diabetes may require more frequent testing. High blood pressure can cause heart disease, kidney damage, erectile dysfunction, vision loss, memory loss and more.
Screenings for colon cancer should begin at 45 years old or ten years prior if a close relative has been diagnosed with cancer. A colonoscopy is done to detect potential abnormalities in the colon and identify colon cancer or precancerous cells. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of death among both men and women according to the American Cancer Society.
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Other cancer screenings
Men should also screen for lung cancer with those who smoke or have been exposed to secondhand smoke at a higher risk of getting it.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common among men and screening is one way to find this slow-growing cancer early. Screenings for prostate cancer should start at about 50 years for average-risk men and 45 for men with a family history of prostate cancer.
Testicular cancer is usually seen in men ages 20-54. Some doctors recommend that men do self-exams for lumps, bumps, and any changes to the testicles’ size and shape.
Men should also screen for skin cancer especially those with a higher risk. The risk factors include sun exposure, tanning, and sunburns.
Men should also screen for breast cancer which is often wrongly assumed to assume only women. Health: Breast Cancer In Men – Here Is What You Need To Know
Diabetes is a condition in which the body is unable to convert glucose into energy. Undiagnosed diabetes can cause kidney complications, heart disease, and nerve damage which can lead to blindness and insensitivity to pain. Diabetes screenings are key for men over the age of 45 and should be done at least once every three years.
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Abdominal aortic aneurysm screenings are critical for men between the ages of 65 and 75 who have ever smoked tobacco. An imaging test such as a computed tomography (CT) scan, ultrasound, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study can help determine the presence, size, and extent of an aortic aneurysm. This aortic bulging can lead to a rupture which can cause severe or fatal internal bleeding.
Depression screenings can be a difficult for men to seek out in a society in which masculinity is synonymous with being tough and not showing any emotions associated with weakness. In the United States, more than 6 million men are diagnosed with depression annually. Screening for depression is important especially if you experience hopelessness, loss of interest in things you normally enjoy and a prolonged feeling of being down. Seek help, don’t try to tough it out on your own. As you care for your physical health, don’t ignore your mental health.
Hepatitis B virus testing
Men at risk of this infection should regularly have screenings. Risk is increased if you have had unprotected sex with multiple partners, have shared needles during intravenous drug use, have sex with other men, live with someone who has chronic hepatitis B virus, and are regularly exposed to human blood such as medical workers. People with untreated long-term Hepatitis B can develop liver disease, kidney disease, inflammation of blood vessels and anaemia.
Hepatitis C virus
Men born between 1945 and 1965 should get Hepatitis C screenings. They should also be tested if they were born to a mother with the virus, need dialysis for kidney failure, received a blood transfusion before 1992, received clotting factors before 1987 or ever injected drugs.
Sexually transmitted diseases
All men regardless of perceived risks should get screened for HIV. Men who have had unprotected sex with a partner whose health history they are not sure of should get tested for syphilis and other STDs. Regular screenings for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and is critical for sexually active men.
It is also important to have any UTI’s checked out because it could be something serious.
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