Men’s Health: The Importance of Annual Screenings

A recent survey found that over two-thirds of men delay going to the doctors for as long as possible. In fact, 72 percent of men said they would rather do household chores (including scrubbing the toilet) than visit the doctor. Yikes! This kind of attitude can actually be detrimental to your health. Routine screenings are so important if you want to catch any issues before they turn into larger – and possibly life-threatening – problems. Today, I want to focus on some important areas of men’s health that should not be ignored or delayed.

What You Need to Know About Men’s Health

1. Routine physical exams: Men should receive regular physical examinations to maintain their good health and keep disease at bay. Even if you feel good, regular check-ups can help you stay on top of your health and catch any unseen issues. It is advised that men younger than 50 visit their primary care doctor every three to five years. Those over 50 should visit every year. 

2. Blood pressure check: Your blood pressure should be checked every two years and is a vital part of taking care of your health. It is a big indicator of your wellbeing and can tell you a lot about how your body is functioning. If the top number (systolic) is between 120 and 139 mm Hg or the bottom number (diastolic) is between 80 and 89 mm Hg, you should keep a closer eye on it and get it checked once per year. Other diseases, such as diabetes or heart disease, may also warrant a yearly check. 

Four Important Screenings for Men’s Health

3. Cholesterol screening: It’s recommended that men get regular cholesterol screenings beginning at age 35. Just like blood pressure, high cholesterol levels can raise some serious red flags, so make sure to get it checked every five years. If you are at high risk for heart disease, screening may start sooner and be repeated more often. 

4. Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening: For men who have smoked tobacco, it is important to get an abdominal aortic aneurysm screening as early as age 65. An abdominal aortic aneurysm is an enlarged area in the lower part of the aorta and can cause life-threatening bleeding. This screening is also essential for those with a family history of abdominal aortic aneurysms. 

5. Colon cancer screening: There is some dispute about which age is best to begin screenings for colon cancer, but men should expect to schedule their first one around 45 or 50 depending on their primary care physician’s recommendation. Additionally, the screening interval varies. A colonoscopy may only be needed every 10 years in average-risk patients with normal results. If results reveal polyps, some patients may need a colonoscopy every three to five years. There’s also an at-home mail-in kit called Cologuard, which patients repeat every three years if normal. 

6. Diabetes screening: If your body mass index (BMI) is over 25, no matter your age, you should ask for regular diabetes screenings. If your BMI is within a healthy range, it is recommended that you get screened after the age of 45. Testing your blood sugar is a good indication of your risk for developing diabetes, so getting regularly screened is important, especially since diabetes can go unnoticed for some time. 

Next Monday marks the start of Men’s Health Week (June 13-17, 2022), making now the perfect time to come in for your annual check-up! Contact us to schedule your appointment today.