I’d like you to take a moment to think about the men you care about. Here’s a question about them. How much attention do they pay to their health? If they’re like a lot of men, they may:
Sometimes it takes the encouragement of loved ones to prompt men to see a health care professional — even when something is wrong or they simply don’t feel well.
There’s truth in the phrase “prevention is the best cure.” A good first step in prevention is for men to have a physical exam. What does that mean for a man? Here are helpful exam guidelines.
Visit a health care provider regularly, even when feeling healthy. During the visit the provider will:
The visits help build a rapport with the provider so there’s a comfort level if an illness occurs.
At least every two years during a visit, blood pressure will be checked.
Height, weight and BMI should be checked during each exam. A BMI between 18.5 and 25 is a normal weight.
During the exam, the provider may ask about:
A number of screenings are recommended for men. A health care professional will help determine the schedule appropriate for each individual.
Men should ask a health care professional about high blood cholesterol screenings starting at age 20, if the man:
Men should have blood pressure checked at least every two years. High blood pressure can cause stroke, heart attack, heart failure and problems with the kidneys and eyes.
Men who have high blood pressure or take medicine for high blood pressure should ask their health care provider about having a diabetes test. Diabetes can cause problems with the heart, brain, eyes, feet, kidneys, nerves and other body parts.
Each man should get screened once for HCV infection if:
Injection drug users should be screen regularly.
Starting at age 50 men should be screened for colon cancer if they have a family history of colorectal cancer. A health care professional can discuss the appropriate screening timing and options.
Men aged 55 to 80 should ask their health care provider about lung cancer screening if they have a 30 pack-year smoking history and smoke now or have quit in the past 15 years. (A pack-year history is the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day times the number of years a person has smoked.)
If the men in your life have any questions about their health, encourage them to visit a health care professional. Many health problems can be prevented or well controlled when they’re found early through appropriate screenings.