As we age there are certain issues effecting men and women, but let’s look at these individually starting with men’s health and fitness. It’s a broad subject so we are breaking it down into a list of men’s health checks and looking at screening for age related conditions.
Why are Screening Tests so Important?
We are not directly taking about supplements to enhance health but looking at the screening for men’s health issues to prevent unnecessary illness and suffering, the use of health supplements is secondary to primary health care. So let’s get right down to business. Screening for these conditions should be on any mans check list as he enters his 40s and 50s but we all know men can be slow to take action when it comes to visiting the doctor.
Think of it this way…..screening to find diseases before symptoms appear makes it easier to treat and avoid complications like loss of vision or impotency caused by untreated diabetes.
The need to test is based on age and risk factor but either way men’s health over 40 is a minefield of complications so we need to this seriously.
Prostate cancer is the commonest form of cancer found in American men after carcinoma. It tends to be a slow-growing, but there are aggressive, fast-growing forms of prostatic adenocarcinoma . Screening tests can find the disease early, sometimes before symptoms develop, when treatments are best .
Tests for Prostatic Adenocarcinoma
Screening is never going to be particularly pleasant either a digital rectal exam (DRE) or possibly a prostate specific antigen (PSA) biopsy. The use of PSA test is not recommend as a routine test by Government guidelines.
40 years. Men with a family history of prostate cancer.
45 years. High risk. This includes African-Americans.
50 years. Average-risk men.
Testicular cancer is not as common as people think although the risk in terms of age is between ages 20 and 54, with a heightened risk to those with a family history or an descended testicle. The American Cancer Society recommends routine physical testicular exam with every visit to the doctor.
Additionally, it is recommended by many doctors that a self-examination be carried out on a regular basis, by gently feeling lumps, bumps, or changes in size or shape of the testes.
Colon Cancer is more important for men’s health over 50 years of age when screening begins. This condition is the second most common cause of death from cancer slowly producing polyps or growths on the inner surface of the colon that can invade or spread to other parts of the body.
Studies suggest men have a slightly higher risk of developing it than women, so it’s important to know how to prevent this condition.
Testing for Colon Cancer
The best way to prevent colon cancer is to find and remove polyps or growth in the colon before they turn cancerous. For average risk category screening begins at 50 using a colonoscopy where a doctor views the entire colon using a flexible tube and a camera, or a sigmoidoscopy that examines the lower part of the colon. If polyps are detected they can be removed at the time of testing.
Skin cancer comes in a number of forms Melanoma being the most dangerous and best known. Melanoma occurs in the melanocytes which are the cells specialized in producing skin pigment or color. Experience shows that men are twice as likely to develop a Melanoma as women in the same age group.
Screening for Skin Cancer
Regular screening by self-examination looking for marks on the skin, looking for changes in color or size of moles is recommended. But also a dermatologist or other health professional exam is recommended by The American Cancer Society and the American Academy of Dermatology. Finding any issues quickly and taking modern treatment is more effective than the early days.
We are lucky if we get to 40 without needed some kind of help with our sight such as reading glasses, but there are also more dangerous conditions that come with age other than general sight issues. Glaucoma belongs to a group of eye diseases that damages the optic nerve that can lead to blindness if not detected and treated.
Screening for Glaucoma
Tests for glaucoma are based on age and personal risk factors. The test should be carried out on a regular bases as shown below but probably more often for those in a high risk group with family history of Glaucoma. The test will detect high pressure within the eye.
Under 40: Every 2-4 years
40-54: Every 1-3 years
55-64: Every 1-2 years
65 up: Every 6-12 months
More frequent screening for those is high risk groups, including African-Americans, a family history of glaucoma, previous eye injury, or use of steroid medications.
High Cholesterol Levels can lead to heart disease and intimately to a heart attack and stroke. It is caused when sticky plaque builds up around walls of the arteries leading to hardening and narrowing of the arteries, known as Atherosclerosis. This condition a mitigated by lifestyle changes to reduce “bad” cholesterol.
Testing Cholesterol Levels
The Cholesterol blood test is known as the “fasting blood lipid panel” which ultimately gives the total level of cholesterol which is made up of three parts.
LDL “bad” cholesterol
HDL “good” cholesterol
Triglycerides (blood fat)
For men within a high risk group of having high cholesterol, testing should start at 20 years of age, and at 35 years old for regular testing. The results give a doctor and good idea about what the individual needs to do in order to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
7.High Blood Pressure
High Blood Pressure or Hypertension is effected by age and by lifestyle factors like weight and environmental factors. Left unchecked it can lead to severe complications without any prior symptoms, including an aneurysm or the dangerous ballooning of an artery. The good news is that Hypertension can be treated and in many cases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure are reduced.
Screening for High Blood Pressure
Testing for blood pressure is a confusing issue for many people. We see and hear a bunch of numbers thrown around and for some reason some are good and some are bad.
The blood pressure test readings give two numbers, the first being systolic and the second diastolic. Basically, the first systolic reading is the pressure in your arteries when the heart beats, the second reading is the pressure between beats. A normal blood pressure being less than 120/80.
That’s systolic pressure 120 as the heart beats / diastolic pressure of 80 between beats. A high blood pressure is 130/80 or more and in between those two is prehypertension.
8.Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes is now a very common condition but even still it is more common than you might know. Indeed one-third of Americans live with type II diabetes don’t know they have it. Left unchecked, this condition can lead to heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage, and impotency. The good news is that these problems do need to occur if the condition is detected. Type II can be effectively controlled with diet, exercise, weight loss, and in some circumstances medication.
Screening for Type 2 Diabetes
The test known as the “fasting blood sugar test” is a glucose tolerance test. It is recommended that healthy adults should test every three years from the age of 45, but of course more frequently for those in high risk groups such as high cholesterol or blood pressure.
The Take Away
We can not take our health for-granted. In a fast moving world where stress, time limits, poor diet and even loneliness take their toll on the health of our body and mind. We have a choice to make and it’s the choice a healthy life style over a convenient lifestyle, where we put ourselves first. With healthy routines, diet and frequent medical appointments we can maintain our general health, and then we can start using supplements as appropriate to our needs.
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Thanks for visiting. See you next time.
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