Mens Health Should Be A Priority, But It Isn’t
Mens Health doesn’t appear to be at the top of their list of things to be concerned about. The center for disease control conducted a study which showed that men were, as a group, less healthy than women and less likely to go to the doctor than women. Men, why do you avoid going to the doctor? It really is no different from getting your car tuned up, you wouldn’t miss that appointment would you?
Every year I trudge off to get my mammogram, pelvic exam, thyroid, cholesterol, and blood counts checked. I schedule it all in one month and call it my health care month. I don’t like it but I do it because I know how important it is to know your numbers and the state of your health. Women are encouraged to do these things annually. In fact, millions of dollars is spent on advertising campaigns just so we know that we should get our mammogram every year. But what about you guys? Don’t you need to know your numbers too, that status of your health? The answer is: YES!
Mens health issues are equally as important as women’s. There are many health screens that men should have, based on their age, on a routine basis.
Mens Health Screens
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm: An AAA is a silent killer. A deadly problem that you may not even know you have. An AAA is a bulge in the aorta that, if bursts is deadly. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms are the third leading cause of death in men over the age of 60. The good news is, that if discovered early survival rate is 99%. A simple PAINLESS ultrasound test can easily detect the presence of an AAA. Who should have an ultrasound to screen for AAA? You should if you are a man who
- is a current smoker
- is a former smoker
- is between the ages of 60-75
Cholesterol: Mens health depends on cholesterol screenings. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and cholesterol is a leading factor in the cause of heart disease. It makes sense to pay close attention to these numbers, right? I always get a laugh out of my big burly patients who come in tattooed from head to toe. I pull out the needle to draw their blood or start their IV and they break out into a cold sweat and become faint. Now, I am not saying you are all afraid of needles but I am saying it is not an adequate excuse to avoid knowing your cholesterol level. Mens health (that is you) depends on it. Get in there and git ‘er done…if you are:
- 35 or older
- 20 or older if you are a smoker, are obese, have diabetes, or have a family history of coronary artery disease.
Diabetes: Checking your blood sugar and A1C levels are indicators of whether you have diabetes or are at risk for diabetes. These tests are also a simple blood test and can be drawn at the same time you get your cholesterol checked so it is really just one poke of the needle. You should be screened for diabetes is you are:
- 45 or older
- are overweight
- have high blood pressure
- have high cholesterol
- have a family history of diabetes
Colorectal Cancer: Colorectal cancer is without symptoms until the cancer has grown and spread to a lethal level. Colorectal cancer is also completely curable if it is found early. Colorectal cancer screening is usually don with a colonoscopy. It’s not so bad boys. You can read all about it HERE. The great news is you don’t have to have this test every years but every 5-10 per your doctor’s recommendation. You should have a colonoscopy if:
- You are 50 years or older
- You have a family history of colorectal cancer.
Prostate Cancer: Prostate cancer screenings is basic when we are talking about mens health. Survival rates of prostate cancer victims have risen from 67% to 92% over the past 20 years due to early detection from these screens. Prostate cancer screening consists of a blood test and a digital rectal exam (it only takes a minute). The Prostate Specific Antigen or PSA test is a simple blood draw that can be done a the same time your other labs are being drawn, so again, one poke of the needle. The American Cancer Society recommends you to have prostate cancer screening annually if:
- You are over 50
- You are over 40 and have a family history of prostate cancer
- You are over 40 and are African-American.
Please, fella’s, see your doctor every year. There are so many mens health issues that are preventable or curable. Failing to address these issues can lead to an untimely death. Let’s not go there. It is possible you don’t need all of these tests but we love ya and we want you to go see your doctor, just in case. Our mens health is important to us and I know it is important to you to. Call you doctor today.