Men often neglect their health, resulting in diseases going undetected until they become more severe and difficult to treat. Unfortunately, some unhealthy gender norms discourage men from seeking help and openly discussing health concerns.
Research shows that men are more prone to ignoring symptoms, delaying medical care and forgoing regular check-ups. This can lead to more complicated and costly health issues that could have been prevented.
Yet prioritizing your health now by getting regular check-ups with a healthcare provider is crucial. Even if you feel healthy, screening can uncover potential problems early when they are easiest to treat.
Don’t remain silent about your health. Speak up and take charge. Early detection and treatment tend to yield the best results. The following are ten important health screenings every man should consider:
Skin Cancer Screening
Skin cancer, especially melanoma, is a serious health threat in the United States. It is the most common form of cancer, responsible for over two deaths every hour.
However, if detected early, melanoma has a high 5-year survival rate of over 99%. That’s why it’s important for men to remain vigilant by paying attention to any changes in their skin.
It’s also crucial for men to have a dermatologist regularly evaluate any suspicious moles or lesions. You can even perform simple skin screenings at home with the help of a loved one.
Remember to look out for signs of skin cancer in your family and friends as well. Early detection and treatment are key.
Taking proactive steps like monitoring your skin for abnormalities and seeking medical care when needed can help protect you from the dangers of skin cancer.
The ABCDEs are a useful checklist for spotting melanoma:
A = Asymmetry
B = Border irregularity
C = Color variability
D = Diameter (greater than 6 mm)
E = Evolving or enlarging over time
Prostate Cancer Screening
A blood test known as the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test can help determine a man’s risk of prostate cancer by measuring PSA levels in the blood. If PSA levels are high, further tests may be needed to look for signs of prostate cancer.
Early detection and treatment are critical to preserving urinary, bowel and sexual functions that are often impacted by advanced prostate cancer.
That’s why it’s so important for men to get screened for prostate cancer before symptoms appear.
Prostate cancer often initially grows slowly, meaning that when caught at an early stage, there is a high chance of successful treatment and improved survival. However, once prostate cancer spreads beyond the prostate gland, treatment becomes more difficult and survival rates decrease.
In summary, getting regular PSA tests and prostate cancer screenings as recommended by your healthcare provider can help detect any abnormalities early – when prostate cancer is most curable and treatable.
Blood Pressure Screening
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a common condition among men that can significantly increase the risk of heart disease and stroke – two leading causes of premature death worldwide.
Surprisingly, nearly half of adults with high blood pressure are unaware they have the condition. Additionally, studies show that men have a higher prevalence of hypertension compared to women – by as much as 15% at younger ages. That is why annual blood pressure screenings are critical for men. Having your blood pressure checked takes only a minute but can protect you from unexpected heart disease and stroke for years to come.
Left untreated, high blood pressure can quietly damage your body’s organs over time. But by identifying hypertension early through regular screening, lifestyle changes and medication, if needed, can help lower your blood pressure and reduce health risks.In short, protect your heart health by making an appointment with your doctor today to get an official reading of your blood pressure. Take action now – it could save your life.
High cholesterol is another risk factor for heart disease, which is the leading cause of death among men. There are usually no warning signs for high cholesterol until it is too late. Men should have their cholesterol levels checked at least once every five years, starting from the age of 35. A simple blood test can help catch the risks of heart attacks and strokes.
High cholesterol is a major modifiable risk factor for heart disease, the leading cause of death among men.Unfortunately, high cholesterol levels often do not produce any noticeable symptoms until damage to blood vessels has already occurred. That is why regular cholesterol screenings are important for men.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that men ages 35 and older have their cholesterol levels checked every 5 years. A simple blood test can detect unhealthy cholesterol levels, signaling increased risks for heart attack and stroke. Early detection and treatment of high cholesterol can help prevent or delay coronary heart disease, which damages heart muscle due to blocked heart arteries. Treatment often involves lifestyle changes like a healthier diet, increased physical activity, and cholesterol-lowering medications, if needed.
In summary, catching high cholesterol early through regular screening during annual physicals helps men take steps to reduce their risks for heart disease before serious complications arise. So if you have not had your cholesterol checked recently, make an appointment today. Your heart health depends on it.
Testicular Cancer Screening
Testicular cancer is a relatively uncommon cancer, with about 1 in every 270 men being diagnosed in their lifetime. However, it is the most common cancer diagnosed in men between the ages of 20 and 40. Fortunately, testicular cancer is one of the most treatable forms of the disease when detected early. The average lifetime risk of dying from testicular cancer is only about 1 in 5,000.
To self-examine for testicular cancer at home, stand in a warm shower or bath and roll each testicle between your thumb and fingers. Look for any hard lumps, bumps, swelling or changes in size, shape or consistency. If you notice anything abnormal, consult a doctor right away. Early detection and prompt medical treatment provides the best chance for a full recovery.
Regular self-examination is important because you know your body best. Check your testicles monthly for any changes that could indicate testicular cancer. Getting into the habit of performing regular exams can increase your chances of detecting the disease at its earliest and most treatable stage.
Colorectal Cancer Screening
Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and the third leading cause of cancer death for both men and women in the United States. Men have about a 1 in 23 lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer. Fortunately, screenings can identify colorectal polyps before they turn cancerous, and early-stage colorectal cancer has a 90% 5-year survival rate with proper treatment.
The USPSTF recommends that men start colorectal cancer screening at age 50 (or earlier if risk factors are present). This usually involves a colonoscopy , where a camera is inserted into the colon to detect irregularities. The minor discomfort of a colonoscopy is a small price to pay for peace of mind. Regular screenings allow possible issues to be detected at stages where treatment is most likely to succeed.
In summary, men age 50 and older should consult their doctors about colorectal cancer screening. Early detection significantly improves outcomes, making routine screening critical for men’s health. So talk to your physician today to determine the best screening option for you.
Diabetes is a chronic condition affecting 23% of adults who remain undiagnosed, leading to serious complications if left untreated. Men are diagnosed with diabetes at higher rates than women, with estimates showing men have nearly 9% higher odds of developing diabetes. For this reason, men – especially those with a family history of diabetes – should have their blood sugar levels checked regularly. A simple blood test called an A1C test can diagnose prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Early detection is key because high blood sugar levels can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and blood vessels over time when diabetes goes undiagnosed.
Men should take proactive steps to detect diabetes early through blood tests and regular medical checkups. Catching and controlling diabetes in the early stages can help prevent irreversible health complications down the road that diminish quality of life. So talk to your doctor today about getting tested and developing a diabetes management plan customized to your health needs. Your overall wellbeing depends on it.
Vision problems and eye diseases affect men of all ages, with studies finding that men have about 16% higher odds of developing severe vision loss compared to women. Vision loss amplifies the effects of other chronic conditions and negatively impacts quality of life. Issues like glaucoma, diabetes-related eye diseases and age-related macular degeneration are leading causes of vision loss. Glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness worldwide, can often be prevented or slowed if detected and treated early.
For this reason, men should have routine comprehensive eye exams with an ophthalmologist or optometrist. Exams are especially important for men with a family history of eye diseases.
- Blurry vision
- Vision loss
- Tunnel vision
- Seeing dark spots
- Eye pain
Regular eye exams can detect eye conditions at early stages when treatment is most effective at preserving vision and preventing blindness. So even if you think your vision is fine now, schedule an exam today to stay ahead of potential vision problems down the road.
Poor oral health has been linked to numerous health issues, such as heart disease, diabetes and respiratory diseases. In general, men tend to be less diligent about their dental health compared to women. This can contribute to higher rates of periodontal (gum) disease and oral cancers in men. Regular dental checkups and cleanings are essential for maintaining good oral health and hygiene. Exams by a dentist every 6 months are recommended to detect early signs of oral diseases.
Proper oral hygiene, which includes brushing teeth twice daily, flossing daily and scheduling regular dental visits, plays an important role in self-confidence, appearance and overall health and wellbeing. Prioritizing oral health and hygiene through regular dentist visits can help men avoid dental issues that cause pain and disability. Early detection of oral diseases also increases chances of effective treatment and better outcomes.
So make an appointment with your dentist today. Your oral – and overall – health may depend on it.
Mental Health Screening
Mental health is just as important as physical health. Nearly 1 in 10 men experience anxiety or depression daily. In 2021, around 26% of men suffered from some mental illness. The defeminization of mental health has allowed more men to open up about their feelings and address the silent crisis surrounding men’s mental health. Men should consider regular mental health screenings to identify and address any potential issues, such as anxiety or depression. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone close about your feelings and challenges in life. If you do not feel comfortable speaking with someone you know, therapists are prohibited from disclosing your personal matters to anyone else.