Wellness

Preventive Health Screenings Men Should Be Getting and When

Jun 13 • 2016

Are you getting the preventive screenings you need as often as you should be? By being proactive, you can ensure that you’re managing your health the right way. In honor of Men’s Health Month, we’ve put together a checklist of the preventive screenings men should obtain, including when and how often.

Diabetes

Diabetes screenings can help you discover high levels of blood sugar before you even see symptoms.

Screenings should begin at age 18 if:

  • Your blood pressure is over 135/80 mmHg, or if you have other risk factors
  • You are overweight

Otherwise, these health screenings should occur every three years beginning at age 45.

Colon Cancer

A colonoscopy is one of the best ways to identify and remove precancerous polyps or other early forms of cancer before they grow or spread.

You should be screened if you are under age 50 if you:

  • Have a family history of colon cancer
  • Suffer from other risk factors like polyps or inflammatory bowel disease

For men between the ages of 50 and 75, you should be screened regularly. Depending on which test you get, your doctor will recommend how often it should reoccur. Risk factors like family or personal history of colorectal cancers or ulcerative colitis might lead to recommendations for more frequent screenings.

Blood Pressure

Men should begin getting their blood pressure checked every two years at age 18. If your systolic pressure is between 120 and 139 and your diastolic pressure is between 80 and 89, an annual screening is recommended.

Also note, you may want to have your blood pressure checked more often if you have:

  • Kidney problems
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease

Cholesterol

All men should have their cholesterol checked every five years once they reach 35 years of age. This screening may need to happen more often if you have:

  • Kidney problems
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease

For men with other risk factors, including diabetes and family history, screenings should start at age 20 and reoccur as recommended by a doctor.

Prostate Cancer

Prostate screenings help doctors identify any early warning signs of prostate cancer. While these tests cannot show whether cancer itself is present, they can aid in early detection.

Men ages 50 and older should speak with their physician about any concerns they may have, including any risk factors they have and the benefits of a screening. This is especially important for men with a family history of prostate cancer and African American men.

Make this year the year you take control of your health and begin setting up routine health screening tests with your doctor. Early detection of these issues can help you live the healthiest life possible.