I’ve already discussed the importance of an annual physical exam. However, even given its importance, it is well known that men resist going to the doctor. Be it out of fear or a whacked out sense of priorities, many men only visit the doctor as a last resort.
If you decide to go this route, you deal with the consequences. That being said, there are medical tests that every man must have in order to maintain a health, disease-free life. Below we discuss those tests, and their importance to men of all ages. Whether done during an annual physical or a separate appointment, get them done.
Suck it up… may that appointment today and your body will thank you for it.
Men’s Medical Test #1: Blood Pressure
Have you had your blood pressure tested recently? Do you know what it is? If not, this test is your most important. According to the Centers for Disease Control, heart disease is the leading cause of death in American men. High blood pressure is a contributing factor to heart disease. If you decide to forego this test at the doctor’s office, get tested at the local drug store or at home. Make it a priority. The American Heart Association recommends that 120/80mm Hg is the MAXIMUM average you want your blood pressure to be. Diet and exercise can have a significant impact on your blood pressure; see here to begin an exercise plan.
Men’s Medical Test #2: Cholesterol
Cholesterol, too, is a contributor to heart disease. All men 35 and up (20 and up if you have other risk factors) should be screened for high cholesterol thorough a simple blood test. If your cholesterol is normal, you can relax, and repeat this test every five years. Per WebMD, LDL cholesterol levels should be below 130, HDL cholesterol should be above 40 for men, and total cholesterol should be below 200. Diet and exercise can help reduce cholesterol levels; check here to begin an exercise plan.
Men’s Medical Test #3: Body Mass Index
You don’t even have to go to the doctor for this one! Calculated from height and weight, this is a good indicator of obesity (and, therefore, your risk factor for heart disease). Calculate today; if your BMI is greater than 25, make a plan to get it under control.
Men’s Medical Test #4: Colon Cancer Screening
According to the Centers for Disease Control, cancer is the second leading cause of death in American men. Today, medicine is able to detect and treat cancer better than ever before. The likelihood of survival increases with early detection. If you are over the age of 50 (40 if you have other risk factors), make the appointment today. Colon cancer is extremely survivable if treated early. The exam is not pleasant, but this is one more medical test every man must have.
Men’s Medical Test #5: Skin Cancer Screening
Any general practitioner doctor can perform a skin cancer screening, although a dermatologis is preferred. The screening is simply a visual examination of your skin. If you are worried about the doctor seeing you naked, don’t despair! I can guarantee you your doctor has seen people who look worse than you. Incidence of skin cancer are on the rise, and, like other forms of cancer, are easily treatable if detected early. After your annual skin cancer screening, do a monthly self exam.
No man likes thinking about disease and their own mortality. It is necessary, though, to help ensure a long life. We’ve discussed the 5 medical tests every man must have, but there are others to consider. Depending on your risk factors, screening for diabetes as well as testicular cancer are important. Your health is, in part, what you make of it. Give yourself peace of mind, have those medical tests done today.
CDC – Men’s Health – Leading Causes of Death in Males
About High Blood Pressure
Understanding Cholesterol Numbers: LDL, HDL, Total Cholesterol, and Triglyceride Levels