June is Men’s Health Month: Recommended Screenings & Health Checks
June is men’s health month. That makes it a good time to remind them of important health issues they need to address. Paying attention to issues specific to men’s health can lead to appropriate screening, early detection of any problems and treatment. That adds up to good health and the ability to avoid serious health conditions. Here are the health issues that men should be aware of.
Men should have these screenings annually:
Blood pressure and cholesterol screenings for heart health
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States, causing one out of every four deaths. Half of the men who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, killing more than 130,000 Americans each year. Controlling blood pressure and cholesterol and having them checked regularly can help to prevent heart disease and heart attacks.
Colorectal cancer screening
Colon cancer is one of the most treatable types of cancer if it is detected early by a colonoscopy.
Diabetes should be controlled to avoid the health conditions that it can cause including non-healing wounds, vision problems, poor circulation and nerve damage.
Age-specific immunizations as recommended by the doctor
As men age it is important to have immunizations for pneumococcal pneumonia, influenza and shingles. Check with the doctor to find out what others may be required based on an individual’s personal medical history.
Height and weight/Body Mass Index (BMI) to screen for obesity
Obesity can lead to heart attacks, diabetes, fatty livers that perform poorly, and other health conditions.
Men also need to pay attention to the following health issues as they age:
Maintaining strong bones can help to retain balance and prevent falls. It’s important to stay at a healthy weight so as not to put undue pressure on the bones. Engaging in strength training using light weights can help bones to grow stronger and denser. It is also a good idea to ask a physician about whether vitamin D and calcium supplements are necessary to keep bones strong.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that gradually damages the nerve in the eye (the optic nerve) and can lead to blindness. Glaucoma is called the “silent thief” of sight because it can cause low vision before any other symptoms occur. Screenings for glaucoma can detect the condition early before damage to the nerve occurs. Most ophthalmologists recommend that men aged 65 and over get screened for glaucoma every six to 12 months.
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. As men age and reach their senior years they are twice as likely to develop melanoma as women. Men are also more susceptible to non-melanoma basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers than women. Have a full-body check by a dermatologist, and make sure to wear sunscreen and hats when in the sun.
As men age they need to pay attention to these health issues. Annual check-ups with their physician will take care of the majority of these screenings. It’s important to be proactive in detecting health conditions and disease in their earliest stages when they can be most effectively treated. That will mean good health into the senior years and the ability to live a full and active life.