Important Screening Tests for Men You Shouldn’t Skip

Posted by in Tip of the week

One of the easiest things men (and women) can do for their health is getting appropriate screening tests. Screenings are important to help catch diseases early and treat them successfully. Skipping these important tests could be a matter of life and death, especially for men – who are less likely to see their doctors on a regular basis. Here are 5 simple tests to pay attention to:

1. Cancers

Skin, prostate, testicular and colorectal cancers are among the most common cancers found in American men. Screening tests can find the disease early, sometimes before symptoms develop, when treatments are most effective. Your age, medical history and risk factor will determine when you should get screened.

2. High Blood Pressure

The risk for high blood pressure is related to age, weight and lifestyle. High blood pressure can lead to many health complications without any prior symptoms, including aneurysms, which can be fatal. Being aware if you have high blood pressure means your doctor can treat it and reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. How often blood pressure should be checked depends on how high it is and what other risk factors you have.

3. High Cholesterol

A high level of LDL cholesterol in the blood causes plaque to build up in the arteries, increasing your risk of heart disease. This can happen without symptoms over time and can lead to heart attack or stroke. Lifestyle changes and medications can reduce bad cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease. Starting at age 20, men should be screened if they are at increased risk for heart disease. Starting at 35, men need regular cholesterol testing.

4. Diabetes

One third of Americans with diabetes don’t know they have it. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage, and impotence. When found early, diabetes can be controlled and often complications can be avoided with diet, exercise, weight loss, and medications. Healthy adults should be screened every three years starting at age 45. If you have a higher risk, including high cholesterol or blood pressure, you may start testing earlier and more frequently.

5. Glaucoma

This set of eye diseases gradually damages the optic nerve and may lead to vision loss and blindness. It can occur before people even notice any symptoms. Eye tests for glaucoma are based on age and personal risk.

Take a preventative approach to your health and get screened!

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