Many communications efforts are in place to help remind women about certain important health screenings they need every year. However, it is important to remind men as well.
Trends show that men tend to avoid going to the doctor for a variety of reasons. They still need specific annual health screenings to ensure their well-being though. Doing so can help men reduce potential risks and take control of their health.
Depending on a man’s age and his other risk factors, here are a few of the screening tests a man should think of getting every year. If any of these apply to you, talk to your primary care provider about if these screenings are appropriate for you.
Regular physical exam
We’ll start off with the basics. At every age, you should have a yearly physical exam. The exam will consist of general readings such as height, weight and your body mass index (BMI). An exam also screens for depression and risky lifestyle habits.
At age 55, start having eye exams every one to three years. You will need to see if you’re at risk for developing glaucoma.
Infectious disease screening
All adults between the ages of 18 to 79 should have a test for hepatitis C. It is a one-time test.
Younger men between the ages of 18 and 39 need screening for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). STIs include syphilis, chlamydia and HIV.
Lung cancer screening
If you have smoked over the years, screen for lung cancer beginning at age 55. Most doctors recommend this screening even if you quit smoking in the past 15 years.
Men of every age should have a dental check-up every six months. An oral screening does more than brighten up your pearly whites. Oral screenings check for serious issues such as mouth cancer.
Younger men do not need to worry about this screening. But between the ages of 50 and 70, you may see a risk for osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis weakens the bones. Steroids used long-term, smoking, consuming alcohol or fracturing a bone after age 50 puts you in a risk category as well.
Men between the ages of 18 and 39 require numerous immunizations. In addition to an annual flu shot, ask your provider if you should have the following vaccinations scheduled:
- A tetanus-diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine at age 19, followed by a booster shot every 10 years
- One to two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, if you’re not already immune
- Two doses of varicella vaccine, if you’ve never previously had chickenpox or the vaccine
- The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine between the ages of 19 and 26
So, what are other health screenings you should ask your provider about? They include abdominal aortic aneurysm, blood pressure screening, cholesterol screening, colorectal cancer screening, diabetes screening and prostate cancer screening.
Be sure to touch base with your primary care provider if you are a man and have any questions about the annual health screenings you should be undergoing.