Guys, let me be blunt: I know we all hate going to the doctor for ANYTHING, but early screening tests for disease and illness can really save your life. But why, and more importantly when, should we men have these screenings done? Read on to learn which screenings are the most important and find out exactly when you need to get checked under the hood.
High Blood Pressure Screening
Why: According to the most recent estimates, nearly one in every three adults has high blood pressure. Most important is the fact that there are no real symptoms with this condition, but it can easily lead to heart attack, stroke, or even kidney failure.
When: From the age of eighteen it’s recommended to be tested for high blood pressure every two years.
Why: Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease, sexual dysfunction, blindness, and more. If you are African American, Native American, Latino, Asian-American or a Pacific Islander, you are more susceptible to diabetes.
When: Since most men get what’s known as “pre-diabetes” before full diabetes, there are special programs that can be used to correct the condition for it worsens. You normally would need to get a diabetes test if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
Why: Yes, it’s a sensitive issue with most men, but it can also save your life. It’s especially important if you are planning to start a family. Look for lumps that shouldn’t be there, discoloration, soreness, or moles that have recently developed. Notify your doctor ASAP if you find anything out of the ordinary.
When: From the age of eighteen men should perform a monthly self-exam and as part of any general checkup.
Why: Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the United States. It is estimated that over twenty-six thousand deaths will occur from it just this year alone. But early detection and treatment can save your life.
When: You should start getting tested from the age of fifty on. If you are in a high risk group – such as African American or have a first relative who has or had the disease – it’s recommended to start your exams at the age of forty-five.
Why: Everyone gets the blues now and then, but for some men, it can become an insistent and prolonged ailment. Everyone is capable of becoming depressed, but it’s different depending on if you are male or female. In men, common symptoms of depression include loss of sleep, fatigue, appetite changes, loss of interest in usually pleasurable activities, and apathy.
When: Depression can occur at any age. If you feel you have one or more of the symptoms above, or even a family member or friend, then contact your doctor.
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Why: This is a no-brainer. If you think you’ve contracted an STI, then please get help. HIV, chlamydiam gonorrhea, and other sexually transmitted diseases can be painful and annoying, but are also treatable if you contact your doctor. More than 1.2 million people in the US are living with HIV, and one in eight of them don’t know it.
The exam will give you a sense of security and relief, as well as help you stay protected and protect your partner too. Get tested now.