Screening Tests For Men
In order to have a healthy and prosperous life, one should get their general health evaluated from time to time. Regardless of gender, every person should get basic screening done at least once a year. Statistics show that as compared to women, men are more careless about their health. For example, according to the results of a latest survey, men are 22% less likely to get themselves screened for cholesterol. According to another study, most men are pretty casual when it comes to periodic screening to detect early onset cancers in men with a positive family history of cancers. This probably explains the relatively higher death rate in men due to cancer as compared to women.
Following are some routine test which are strongly advised for adult men at periodic intervals:
- Blood Pressure Monitoring:
It is one the most simple and easiest routine test to be performed. You can even do it at home by using digital blood pressure monitors. Most pharmacies in the United States offer this facility in an out-patient set-up where interested individuals can get their blood pressure checked without having to setup an appointment or paying hefty doctor’s fee.
Men between age 19 to 64 should get their blood pressure monitored at least once in every two years, says The National Institutes of Health. However, depending upon a person’s condition, age, physical health and family history of cardiovascular diseases, the frequency of screening can vary. The optimum blood pressure range is below 120/80mmHg. One can control their high blood pressure with regular exercise and salt restricted diet.
Diabetes is believed to be a silent killer, because many people don’t even know whether they are diabetic or not. Diabetes if not managed can lead to numerous health problems and life-threatening complications including, heart diseases, strokes, nerve damage, visual problems including blindness, kidney problems, and the list goes on. The screening test for diabetes is simple and involves fasting plasma glucose levels. If your serum glucose levels are equal to or greater than 126mg/dl, than you might be suffering from diabetes mellitus. Your doctor may advise 2-3 blood sugar assessments at different intervals before establishing the definite diagnosis of diabetes. Ideally, all the individuals who have following risk factors are candidates for periodic diabetes screening.
- Cholesterol Testing:
Men should get their cholesterol levels checked after every 5 years. The risk of getting diagnosed with high levels of LDL aka “bad cholesterol” or lower levels of HDL aka “good cholesterol” is very high after age of 45. It can also be an indication of an unhealthy heart. 200mg/dl is the optimum range of cholesterol level.
- Screening for Colon Cancer:
In United States, colorectal cancer is the second most common and deadly cancer. According to latest statistics, colon cancer is also reportedly more common in men than women. Therefore, American Cancer Society suggests that men should get tested for colorectal cancer at the age of 50.
There are different methods for colon cancer screening, including an insertion of camera via flexible tube into colon i.e. colonoscopy. Colonography is another method in which CT scanning is done. Sigmoidoscopy is similar to colonoscopy but it examines only the third lower part of colon. Colonoscopy should be done after every 10 years while other two methods after every 5 years.
- Screening for Prostate Cancer:
Prostate specific antigen test or PSA is done for prostate cancer examination. In this test, PSA levels are evaluated. This test may help in early diagnosis; however, the credibility of this test is often questioned due to possibilities of false positive results.
- Screening for Skin Cancer:
Men are two to three times at greater risk of developing Squamous cell and non-melanoma basal cell cancers. It is highly recommended for men to conduct self-screening for any changes in the skin color or lesions, after every three months.
Usually men don’t go for routine health screening because they are too busy or they don’t notice small changes in their body or you may say they are more careless. But, these simple and basic tests are essential because they may prove to be a source of early diagnosis and treatment for underlying lethal health diseases that can significantly compromise your quality of life.
- Qaseem, A., Barry, M. J., Denberg, T. D., Owens, D. K., & Shekelle, P. (2013). Screening for prostate cancer: a guidance statement from the Clinical Guidelines Committee of the American College of Physicians. Annals of internal medicine, 158(10), 761-769.
- Carter, H. B., Albertsen, P. C., Barry, M. J., Etzioni, R., Freedland, S. J., Greene, K. L., … & Penson, D. F. (2013). Early detection of prostate cancer: AUA Guideline. The Journal of urology, 190(2), 419-426.
- Andriole, G. L., Crawford, E. D., Grubb, R. L., Buys, S. S., Chia, D., Church, T. R., … & Weissfeld, J. L. (2012). Prostate cancer screening in the randomized Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial: mortality results after 13 years of follow-up. Journal of the National Cancer Institute.