Essential Health Screenings for Men

June is Men’s Health Month, so let’s celebrate the men in our lives. One way is to encourage them to take care of themselves. The first step is to get an annual physical. Preventive care is key to good long-term health.

The following are a few of the screenings your provider will perform or schedule for you:

Blood Cholesterol – all men over the age of 35 should get their cholesterol levels checked regularly. Those who use tobacco, are overweight, or have had a relative who had a heart attack before 50 should get theirs checked in their 20s.

Blood Pressure – should be checked regularly, and if you have any cardiovascular risk factors, it should be more frequently.

Colon Cancer – all men should be screened for colon/rectal cancer by age 50. If you have a family history of colon cancer, your screening needs to be done earlier.

Depression – it is estimated that over 6 million men suffer from depression every year, and many of these go undiagnosed. Talk with your provider if you have experienced any of the following for more than two weeks:

  • A significant change in sleep or eating patterns
  • Decreased energy
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Feeling sad, restless, or anxious

If you are having thoughts of suicide, please seek treatment immediately. (1-800-273-8255 – National Suicide Prevention Lifeline)

Diabetes – if you have high blood pressure or a family history of diabetes, you should get screened for diabetes (high blood sugar).

Prostate Cancer – talk with your provider about the benefits of screening to determine what is best for you.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm – this is a one-time screening for men ages 65 – 75 who have ever smoked.

Lung Cancer Screening – an annual screening for adults ages 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history (smoked one pack/day for 30 years, two packs/day for 15 years, etc.) and who currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.

Many of the leading health risks for men are preventable through intelligent health choices and visiting your healthcare provider. Share this information with all the men in your life.

Abbie McLemore, APRN-CNP
Ringling Family Care

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