Tests Men Need

As men, we have a tendency to think we are way tougher than we really are and we carry around a belief that we can’t be defeated by anyone or anything. As many of us will learn the hard way, probably on more than one occasion, this is simply not true. We are just as susceptible to genetic disorders, heredity, illness and disease as anyone else. For that reason, there are certain tests that men need to have done to monitor their health and identify potential issues as early as possible.

Testicular cancer is relatively rare, but it does occur often enough that it should be checked for on a routine basis. This form of cancer generally affects young men between the ages of 20 and 39. A testicular exam, as a part of an overall cancer screening process, is recommended to check for problems. If caught early, testicular cancer can be curable, so it is best to be checked on occasion.

Skin cancer screening should be conducted on an annual basis with a trip to a dermatologist. Regular monthly self exams should be performed to look for irregular moles or skin discoloration and should be followed up with a trip to your doctor if anything seems out of the ordinary. Early detection of skin cancer can have a significant impact on the level of treatment that can be provided and greatly improve the chances of a positive outcome.

Prostate cancer tests are somewhat controversial, but are still recommended on an annual basis for men over the age of 50. Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing should be conducted to help identify prostate cancer in its early stages. It is recommended that you consult your doctor regarding the risk factors for prostate cancer, such as age and family history to determine the best method and frequency for testing.

Colorectal cancer kills over 50,000 people every year, and it is estimated that more than half of those deaths could have been prevented if the patients had been properly screened for the disease. Men that have close relatives that have suffered from polyps or colorectal cancer and those that suffer from inflammatory bowel disease are at higher risk than others and should begin screening at a younger age. Those without these risk factors should seek yearly tests once they reach the age of fifty.

Regular blood pressure tests should be taken at all regular doctors’ office visits as well as during an annual checkup. High blood pressure can cause severe damage to vital organs and can even lead to death. Screening for high blood pressure is simple, non-invasive and quite reliable. Periodic blood pressure checks can easily be done at home or a local pharmacy to keep an eye on things in between doctor visits.

Regular cholesterol checks are recommended for all men over the age of 35 and for men over the age of 20 that have high risk factors. These factors can include families with a history of heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes. Tests should be performed every five years or so as long as levels remain within healthy parameters. If results show an unhealthy cholesterol level, regular checkups should be scheduled to monitor progress over time.

Monitoring your emotional health is just as important as your physical health. Depression is a growing problem amongst men of all ages and can have seriously detrimental effects if left untreated. If you’ve been feeling sad, hopeless or just not like your normal self, talk to your doctor about getting screened for possible depression.

Regular exercise, a proper diet and an overall healthy lifestyle are the keys to living a long and healthy life. Remember, however, that making healthy choices are not sufficient to ensure long term wellness on their own. Regular medical testing and screening for common ailments and diseases can make the difference between life and death if the problems are caught early.