Men tend to take better care of their cars or boats than they do their own health. They are more reluctant to find time to schedule a health check. They often “tough it out” to avoid receiving bad news or feeling vulnerable. A preventive health check based on your age is a critical and a proactive step in overcoming any serious health problems.

Health and lifestyle challenges such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, heart disease, high cholesterol and depression commonly impact the quality of life of men. They also impact friends and family life. These problems may cause premature death.

Prevention is key and early detection is the best defense to protect your health as a man. The more men understand about their health, the better equipped they are to manage it and take better care of themselves. That’s why it’s crucial for guys to visit the doctor and key in on these top 5 health screenings.

Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Checks

The good news is that it’s often very easy to access blood pressure screenings. Many neighborhood pharmacies or even workplaces hold blood pressure testing events. Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80. Remember, if your blood pressure is over this amount, talk with your health care provider. There are many options to consider.

High cholesterol can be an early sign of heart disease. Discovering that your cholesterol is high will give you the opportunity to make necessary changes to your lifestyle and boost your chances of avoiding significant health problems.

Colon Cancer Testing

One of the most dangerous types of cancer is colon cancer, which affects our lower intestines. We recommend screening at least one per year for men over age 50 and men in their forties with a family history of colon cancer.

We encourage men with a history of bowel problems (including irritable bowel syndrome, polyps, or inflammation) to see their doctor about a colon cancer screening. In many cases the testing requires only a stool sample. The best test you can do is one that screens for cancer and polyps.

Prostate Exam

Every year thousands of American men receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer — a deadly, but treatable form of cancer. It’s crucial that every man over age 50 get tested for prostate cancer at least once each year.

Men over age 40 with a family history of prostate cancer (or even prostate problems) should also consider a regular exam. When detected early, prostate cancer may be controlled or eradicated.

Diabetes Testing

It is important for every adult man to be regularly tested for diabetes. This is especially important if you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30.  According to the American Diabetes Association being overweight makes a man more susceptible to developing diabetes.

Pay Attention to Dental and Eye Health

All adult men should visit the dentist at least once per year in order to receive an exam and cleaning. This can help your dentist detect any emerging problems early on, giving you the opportunity to take action before the inflammation, pain, and expense becomes too great.

Adult men benefit from an eye exam at least once every two years. This is particularly important if you’ve ever had problems with your eyes (like sustaining an injury, or if you’ve had surgery performed). If you have glasses, get your eyes checked every time you go for new lenses.

Mickey Mantle once said, “If I knew I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.” Involving more men in the taking action toward leading a healthier lifestyle simply starts with taking better care of themselves, sooner than later.  Take the “pitch” from Mickey and hit yourself a home run for health.

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