It is no secret most men are hesitant to see a doctor when they are sick or experiencing a health problem. Even more challenging is getting them to see a doctor when they are feeling well. Health experts say this is a mistake because preventative care and routine screenings can save lives.
June is National Men’s Health month and the perfect time to remind our husbands, partners, sons, fathers, and brothers to prioritize their health.
Specific tests and screenings are suggested for men, and many can be conducted during routine physicals. Other tests must be scheduled separately according to an individual’s lifestyle, family history, and age.
“Men are at risk for several types of cancer including prostate, colon, and lung. Following guidelines for screenings will help identify these cancers early, which is key to improving treatment outcome,” says Eric Bailey, DO, UPMC Family Medicine.
Men should talk to their doctor and consider the following tests to maintain their health or take the necessary next steps if they receive a diagnosis.
Blood pressure: Screening for high blood pressure (above 120/80) with an office blood pressure measurement is recommended for all adults.
Cholesterol: Check every five years beginning at the age of 40; if you have risk factors for heart disease, discuss with your doctor whether you should test more frequently or earlier.
Colorectal: Men ages 45 to 75 should initiate screening. Several testing methods are available in detecting colon cancer.
Diabetes: Get tested if you are age 35 to 70 and overweight or obese.
HIV: HIV screening is recommended for all adults and adolescents ages 15 to 65.
Lung Cancer: Annual screening with a low-dose CT scan in adults ages 50 to 80 years who have a 20 pack-year smoking history, and who currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA): PSA tests check for prostate cancer. Testing is available after age 55 however, screening should be discussed with your doctor first.
Depression: Providers will ask questions to determine one’s mental health. Depression does not always present in the form of sadness. It is important to discuss a change of feelings, behaviors, and stressors to improve mood.
To find a PCP near you, visit UPMC.com/CentralPaPCP.