You may be swamped with work and family responsibilities, but that should not stop you from taking out the time to get these medical tests done. Regular health checkups can detect the initial symptoms of potentially fatal diseases, and thus these symptoms can be dealt with and cured effectively.
Let’s take a look at some of the important health checkups recommended for men.
1. Colon Exam
To prevent the development of colon cancer, doctors recommend a variety of screening tests that men should look into when they hit the age of 50. However, men with a family history of colon cancer are advised to start their screening tests earlier on in their lives. These tests are important because they can detect the early signs of cancerous growth in the colon. The American Cancer Society suggests the following tests:
- A Stool test once every year to check for blood in the stool, which is a sign of colon cancer.
- A flexible sigmoidoscopy test every five years to examine the first half of the colon. A small camera and a tube are inserted into the rectum for the examination.
- A colon X-ray to detect any abnormal growth in the colon.
- A colonoscopy every ten years to examine the entire colon.
2. Blood Pressure Exam
From the age of 18 onwards, men should get their blood pressure checked regularly to keep fatal diseases such as stroke and heart attacks at bay. If your blood pressure is high, the National High Blood Pressure Education program recommends getting it checked regularly every one or two months. Alternatively, you doctor may also think it best to start you on a blood pressure regulation treatment plan.
3. Cholesterol Exam
Elevated levels of cholesterol increase the risk of heart diseases and other health complications. You should ideally get your cholesterol blood test every five years starting from the age of 20 or sooner if you have a family history of cholesterol problems, to ascertain your HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (Bad cholesterol) levels.
4. Prostate Exam
Even though there is conflicting opinion about the advantages of detecting prostate cancer growth in its early stages, the American Cancer Society advocates prostate medical examinations for men who are 50 years or older. The two medical checkups for prostate cancer are the rectal exam and the prostate specific antigen blood test (PSA). Men with a family history of prostate cancer and black men, who are at a higher risk for prostate cancer because of their race, should start getting their medical tests at the age of 45.
5. Testicular Exam
To detect testicular cancer early and increase the chances of a successful treatment and cure, men should undergo a regularly conducted, physical testicular examination to identify any abnormal growth. There is considerable debate about the effectiveness of self- exams, so consult your health practitioner to identify the best option for optimal health.
6. Eye Exam
Men below the age of 60 should go for an eye exam every two years. After men hit the age of 60, they are recommended to have an eye exam every year to detect any early symptoms of macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma. If there is a strong family history of eye sight problems, or if the individual suffers from diabetes or high blood pressure, eye exams should be a yearly feature.
7. Dental Exam
Unlike other medical tests, dental exams do not have any particular guiding principles on how regularly an adult man should go for a dental exam. However, regular dental checkups are highly recommended, especially if you smoke, have HIV, dry mouth, chew tobacco or suffer from diabetes, so that potentially serious medical conditions can be diagnosed early and treated accordingly.