Men’s Health Month every June is a reminder that regular checkups can help find potentially serious issues early, improving the odds for treatment of disease.
There are several basic health screenings that are important. “Many men are reluctant to see the doctor because they are concerned about finding problems. Being proactive about your health can actually reduce the number of treatments you may need to stay healthy,” says Abrazo Health urologist Dr. Sanjay Ramakumar. In general, some of the top health exams men should be getting are listed below. Other screenings not listed here may be considered due to personal and family history. Ask your physician to find out which screenings are right for you.
Top Seven Health Screenings for Men
Cholesterol: High cholesterol increases risk for heart disease and stroke.
High Blood Pressure: It often has no warning signs or symptoms. Be sure to get it checked regularly.
Diabetes: Heart disease, stroke, and even the need to remove a limb can be caused by diabetes.
Colorectal Cancer: If you’re 45 or older, schedule a screening every 10 years or more often if you are at higher risk or have a family history of colon cancer.
Prostate Cancer: At age 45, or age 40 if you have high risk factors, men should talk to their doctor about prostate cancer screening. Newer techniques for biopsy are available, and if minimally invasive surgery is recommended, outpatient procedures may be an option for qualified prostatectomy patients.
Skin Cancer: Report any unusual moles or changes in your skin to your doctor, especially if you are at an increased risk.
Lung Cancer: More than 80 percent of the people who develop lung cancer get it from smoking. If you currently smoke, the best way to lower your risk is to quit.
“Keep up with your preventative screenings and appointments,” Dr. Ramakumar says. “It is important to listen to your body. Symptoms such as chest pain or severe headache could be a sign of a serious health condition.”