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Must-Have Medical Tests for Men

When was the last time you visited the doctor’s office? A year ago? Three? Five? If you’re a guy, you might be surprised at the many important tests you should have done on a regular basis . . . especially as you get older. Let’s take a look at the “must-have” medical tests for men.

The Annual Exam – Not Just for Women
First of all, doctors and other healthcare professionals still maintain that an annual physical is essential.  The various medical tests that might be performed at that physical depend largely on ones age, symptoms, and family medical history.  It is also highly advisable to develop a strong relationship with your doctor to ensure easy and effective communication and a strong basis for attaining the most out of required medical testing.

Blood Pressure
An annual blood pressure test can detect (and prevent) high blood pressure that may lead to heart attack, serious organ damage, or even death.

Cholesterol Screening
A cholesterol test is highly recommended once every five years for men 35 years or older. If you already have high cholesterol, or have a family history of high cholesterol, you should be screened more often.

Colorectal cancer tests are recommended for individuals over 50 years of age.  This test can detect early signs of colon cancer, which is the third most common cancer of men and women in the United States. Experts state that 60 percent of cancer deaths could be prevented with proper screening and treatment.

Prostate cancer screening after the ages of 50 will detect any risk factors.  However, the type of cancer is slow growing and the PSA can return many false positives.  It’s best to talk with your doctor about the relation between prostate cancer, age and family history.

Testicular Cancer
Testicular cancer mainly affects young men ages 20 to 39 years of age but is curable if detected and treated early.  The American Cancer Society suggests a testicular examination as part of a routine cancer-related checkup.

Type-2 Diabetes
A regular type-2 diabetes screening is a must, especially for adults with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and men who are overweight.

Immunizations can fade over time. Vaccines change over the years and men over 50 should receive a tetanus booster every ten years.  Flu shots are recommended every year for men over 50 and a pneumococcal vaccine is suggested for anyone age 65 and over.

Blood Sugar
Routine blood sugar tests will indicate if you have any risk for conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.

Skin Check
Regular skin testing can detect melanoma early, which is the key for beating the disease.  Experts also recommend monthly self-examinations to detect any irregular moles on the surface of the skin and yearly visits to a dermatologist for a complete skin exam.

Dental examinations in combination with regular flossing and brushing can prevent and reverse gum disease. It’s highly recommended that you visit your dentist twice a year, but if you can’t make that, once a year is a must.

Routine obesity screenings can prevent future health problems such as heart disease or diabetes.  A human body mass index (BMI) of 30 percent or more in men is considered obese.

Thyroid testing by age 35 will help determine if the gland is operating properly.  The thyroid gland regulates the way your body uses energy. An underactive or overactive thyroid can cause severe health problems if not addressed and treated properly.

Having a yearly eye examination in your 20s and twice per year in your 30s will protect your vision and prevent future eye problems.

Regular hearing tests are highly recommended as hearing loss is present in 33 percent of people older than the age of 65.  The loss of hearing can impact ones emotional, social and cognitive functioning, so you want to make sure you’re on top of it.

Hopefully you’re already taking care of your health by having these important tests, but if not, it’s not too late to get started! Take the first step and call your doctor today.

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