When it comes to promoting health and fitness, regular medical checkups and screenings are imperative. But for the uninitiated, a medical checkup entails a doctor examining your body and evaluating your health. On the other hand, a health screening is a medical test designed to look for diseases in your body or assess your health conditions.
Unfortunately, men are less likely to have checkups and screenings than women. In fact, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) showed that men are 24 percent less likely to visit a doctor and get a test than women. Another survey revealed that some men even try to avoid seeing a doctor altogether.
It’s crucial, however, for men not to neglect their overall health and well-being. That said, here are eight medical checkups and screenings you must consider getting:
1. Physical Exam
Also known as a wellness check, a physical exam must be a regular visit with your physician. However, how often you should get this exam varies based on age and health condition. For men, consider having this every one to three years.
During the checkup, your doctor will examine your body and every part of it. You’ll also get basic screenings and even adult immunizations. Lastly, you’ll have a thorough discussion about your health with your doctor. You’ll then get valuable pieces of advice on how to take good care of your health.
2. Cholesterol and Blood Pressure Check
Most men suffer from high cholesterol and high blood pressure level. If left unattended, they can lead to serious heart problems such as heart attack and stroke. They can quickly escalate to sudden, unexpected death.
As such, you need to get a blood cholesterol test every five years. Also, ensure you have a frequent blood pressure check if you have high blood pressure. Even those with normal blood pressure must get a test every two years.
3. Diabetes Check
It’s easy to see adult men suffering from diabetes. In fact, it’s a common disease affecting millions of lives worldwide due to eating habits and modern lifestyles. The American Diabetes Association recommends getting a diabetes check every three years once you are already 45 years old.
But if you have a high risk of diabetes or show some symptoms, get this test as soon as possible. Know that a diabetes test involves checking your blood sugar or glucose levels. It seeks to determine if you have prediabetes or the actual health condition.
4. Prostate Cancer Screening
Prostate cancer is a concerning illness affecting men worldwide. About 13 percent of men will get prostate cancer, and two to three percent will die. The American Urological Association (AUA) suggests men aged 55 to 69 years old have a prostate cancer screening.
Prostate cancer screening typically involves two tests. First, the digital rectal exam (DRE) entails inserting a gloved finger into the rectum to assess the prostate gland. Second, the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test involves measuring a marker for prostate size in the blood.
If you have a high PSA, be sure to talk to your doctor and consider getting 3T MRI testing. If you’re claustrophobic, get an upright open MRI procedure instead.
Men have a high risk of colon and rectal cancer. For the most part, men should have a colonoscopy every ten years, starting at 50 years old. However, the cancer cells can grow gradually. For this reason, you may need to get one earlier and frequently. Consider doing so, especially if you are at high risk and have a family history.
The colonoscopy entails using a thin, flexible instrument inserted inside the body to examine the lining of the colon and rectum. The process helps doctors see signs of colon and rectal cancer.
6. Bone Density Test
The bone density test is appropriate for the elderly. This test applies to those aged 70 years old and above, especially older men. However, it’s best to get early on if you have fractures before, rheumatoid arthritis, and even a family history of osteoporosis.
In a nutshell, a bone density test measures bone mass (bone strength) and diagnoses osteoporosis. From there, a doctor will address your weak and brittle bones and prevent them from breaking.
At this point, you now know what medical checkups and screenings to get. As a man, consider getting those mentioned above, from a regular physical exam to colonoscopy down to bone density test.
By doing so, your doctor will be able to determine any health condition or potential illness early on and address this health problem as soon as possible. Ultimately, doing so will ensure you’re always physically fit and healthy.