Throughout the month of June, The Medical Group of Florida focuses on raising awareness of preventable health issues all men face. It’s no secret men often ignore medical issues and put off going to the doctor. We are asking men to take June as a reminder to prioritize their own health, as a contribution to themselves and to those who care about them.
It’s important as a man to brush up on your health facts, listen to your body, and be sure to get regular checkups. Even if you don’t feel sick, it is important to see your doctor regularly and schedule annual exams. Making sure you get all your doctor-recommended health care screenings in a timely fashion is the kind of to-do list that no man should ignore. Not only will you live longer, but you’ll also have a better quality of life.
Below is information about seven important health screenings for men, including the appropriate timing for each.
1. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Men between the ages of 65 and 75 who have ever smoked tobacco should get screened for an abdominal aortic aneurysm. An imaging test, such as a CT scan, ultrasound, or MRI, can help determine the presence, size, and extent of an aortic aneurysm. The major risk of this aortic bulging is a rupture resulting in severe or fatal internal bleeding.
2. Blood Cholesterol
All men 35 or older should get their blood cholesterol levels checked regularly. Men who use tobacco; are overweight or obese; have a relative who had a heart attack before the age of 50, or have diabetes, high blood pressure, or a history of heart disease should get their cholesterol checked much earlier, at the age of 20. There are several measures of cholesterol, and all are important in determining heart disease risk.
3. Blood Pressure
Every man should have their blood pressure checked regularly, and patients with other cardiovascular risk factors should check their blood pressure more frequently. This can be performed at your doctor’s office. High blood pressure is the biggest risk for heart disease and a significant risk for other serious health conditions.
Men who have high blood pressure or take medication to control their high blood pressure should get screened for diabetes (high blood sugar). Anyone experiencing symptoms of persistently severe thirst, frequent urination, unexpected weight loss, increased hunger, and tingling in the hands or feet also should talk to their doctor about getting tested. The preferred screening for diabetes is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar over the last three months.
5. Prostate Cancer
Recommendations regarding prostate cancer screening, particularly PSA screening, vary widely among health care professionals. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of screening to determine what is best for you. Patients who opt for screening will have the Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test done. The PSA test measures the blood level of a certain protein that is produced by the prostate gland and can be elevated in men with prostate cancer. If you have an elevated PSA, please speak with our in-house Oncologist, Dr. Michael Hall, about your treatment options for Prostate Cancer.
6. Colon Cancer
All men should get screened for colorectal (colon or rectal) cancer by age 50. People with a family history of colorectal cancer should get a colonoscopy even sooner. There are several different tests that can help detect colon cancer, but colonoscopy continues to be the gold standard. Our in-house Gastroenterologist, Dr. Miral Subhani, is trained in diagnostic and therapeutic colonoscopy, diagnostic and therapeutic upper endoscopy, video capsule endoscopy, PEG tube placement, and motility.
Using a BMI calculator to determine your body mass index (BMI) is usually a reliable, but not conclusive, an indicator of whether you’re at a healthy weight. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered healthy, a BMI above 25 is overweight, and a BMI greater than 30 is obese. If you have a high BMI, your doctor may use one or more other methods to help further assess whether you are overweight or obese. These include: measuring waist circumference; using a caliper to measure skinfold thickness above the hip and estimate body fat percentage; or bioelectric impedance, which involves sending a safe dose of electricity through the body to measure body fat percentage. Talk to your doctor about how your BMI can be improved with healthy nutrition, regular workouts, and getting a good night’s sleep.
We are here for you
To all our male patients and their families, we encourage you to take advantage of the wealth of information from sources such as the online Men’s Health Resource Center, addressing topics including nutrition, cardiovascular health, prostate health, mental health, diabetes, reproductive health, cancers, and more.
If you have concerns about a cancer diagnosis, please call our oncology department at (561) 721-6891 and make a consultation with Dr. Michael Hall, Radiation Oncologist at The Medical Group of South Florida. Dr. Hall can help walk you through the various treatment options available to your unique situation.
Book a consultation with Dr. Hall and start beating cancer today.