When it comes to scheduling for a routine check-up, routine doesn’t always mean routine especially for men. Months, even years, go by before a man schedules just the simplest of health care screenings. Several reasons for procrastinating a routine check-up are: fear of what the doctor may say; too busy to make time; there’s nothing wrong or feeling good. Whatever the reason, a person should visit their health care provider for a regular check-up. The purpose of these visits is to:
– Screen for medical issues
– Assess your risk of future medical problems
– Encourage a healthy lifestyle
– Update vaccinations
– Help you get to know your provider in case of an illness
There are specific times when you should see your provider. Below are screening guidelines for men.
Blood Pressure Screening
- Have your blood pressure checked every 2 years unless the top number (systolic number) is between 120 and 139 or the bottom number (diastolic number) is between 80 and 89 mm Hg or higher. Then have it checked every year.
- If you are age 45 or older, you should be screened every 3 years.
- If your blood pressure is above 135/80 mm Hg, your provider may test your blood sugar level for diabetes.
- If you have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25 and have other risk factors for diabetes, you should be screened. Having a BMI over 25 means that you are overweight.
Cholesterol Screening and Heart Disease Prevention
- Men over age 35 and older should be checked every 5 years.
If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to have your blood pressure checked more often and start getting screened earlier, at age 20.
- During an exam, review overall health status:
– 20-39 yrs. / every 3 years
– 40-49 / ever 2 years
– 50+ every year
- Your blood pressure should be checked at least every two years.
- Your height, weight, and BMI should be checked at every exam.
Colon Cancer Screening
- If you are under age 50 and have a strong family history of colon cancer or polyps, you should have a colon cancer screening.
- If you are between ages 50-75, you should be screened for colorectal cancer.
Note: Screening may also be considered if you have a history of inflammatory bowel disease or polyps. You may need a colonoscopy more often if you have risk factors for colon cancer.
Prostate Cancer Screening
- Most men age 50 or older should discuss screening for prostate cancer with their provider. African American men and those with a family history of prostate cancer in a first degree relative younger than age 65 should discuss screening at age 45.
- The potential benefits of PSA testing as a routine screening test have not been shown to outweigh the harms of testing and treatment. If you choose to be tested, the PSA blood test is most often done very year.
It is never too late to schedule an appointment to see your health care provider. If you have not done so, then do it the Nike way, “Just Do It.” Make it a Christmas gift to yourself.
So, Man-up, get a check-up, so you can live-up to your full potential of living a healthy lifestyle!
Please consult your health care provider as screenings may vary based upon your health.
Information provided by medlineplus.gov.