It’s Men’s Health Month, and an important part of staying healthy is engaging in routine health care maintenance (getting the screening you are due for). At age 18 men should be screened for high blood pressure, this can be accomplished quickly by an MA in provider’s office.
Men over age 18 should also be screened for depression, this can be accomplished by a quick questionnaire in the office.
If you have smoked 100 or more cigarettes in your lifetime, you should get screened once for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). AAA is a bulging in your abdominal aorta, your largest artery. An AAA may burst, which can cause dangerous bleeding and death.
Annual colon cancer screening can be done with a take home stool test called the IFIT, screening should begin at age 50. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, you may need to be screened earlier. Colonoscopies can also be used and if normal may need to be done only every ten years.
Get screened for diabetes (high blood sugar) if you have high blood pressure or if you take medication for high blood pressure.
Get screened one time for HCV infection if you born between 1945 and 1965 (Boomers), have every injected drugs or used drugs intra-nasally, or received a blood transfusion before 1992. If you are a current injecting drug user you should get screened on a regular basis.
If you are 35 or older, have your blood cholesterol checked regularly with a blood test. High cholesterol increases your chance of heart disease, stroke, and poor circulation. Talk to your doctor or nurse about having your cholesterol checked starting at age 20 if you use tobacco, are overweight or obese, have diabetes or high blood pressure, have a history of heart disease or a man in your family had a heart attack before age 50 or a woman before age 60.
Prostate cancer screening is no longer routinely recommended, but talk to your provider if you are having symptoms for frequent urination, urgency of urine, decreased urine stream or hesitancy of urine.
It can be difficult to make the time to get a screening, but we try to make it easy. It’s never too late to start the conversation, and it will always be worth your time to make that appointment. One appointment, screening, or check up could make all the difference. It’s time to take control of your health.
Article by Bill Bomberger, Deputy Medical Director