Are you one of those men who can’t remember the last time you went
to the doctor? Sure, maybe you’ve gone in to treat something urgent,
but what about scheduling an annual physical or screening tests? Maybe
you simply put it off, think your healthy lifestyle is enough, or insist
that you “feel just fine.” Sorry, guys…you can do better.
Regular checkups and screenings aren’t something you can afford to
ignore. These baseline tests help you and your doctor know how your health
is changing over time. Plus, silent killers such as high blood pressure
or high cholesterol can have tragic consequences if they go undetected.
Here are several baseline screenings every man should consider:
Blood pressure. Screen beginning at age 18. If your blood pressure is borderline
high - systolic blood pressure between 120 and 139 and diastolic blood
pressure of 80 to 89 – get it checked at least every year.
Cholesterol. From age 20 to 34, have your cholesterol tested if you are
at increased risk for heart disease. After age 35, get tested every year.
Colorectal cancer. Once you turn 50, you should be screened for colorectal
cancer. Screening options include fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy,
or colonoscopy. Ask your doctor which test is best for you.
Depression. Ask your doctor about being screened for depression if over
the past few weeks, you have felt sad or hopeless, or lost interest in
doing the things you normally enjoy.
Diabetes. Starting at age 18, get screened if your blood pressure is higher
than 135/80 or if you take high blood pressure medicine.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV). You should be tested if you were born between
1945 and 1965; have ever injected drugs; or received a blood transfusion
Obesity. Have your body mass index (BMI) calculated to screen for obesity
at each visit. BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight.
For a more complete list of screening recommendations, visit the
Men's Health Network.
"Tough guys" tend to downplay their symptoms when they finally
are in front of their doctors. The results can be dangerous. Be sure to
let your healthcare provider know the whole story.
Real men make responsible choices for a healthy future. If you don't
have a personal physician, Cortland Regional Medical Practice Primary
Care is accepting new patients. Call 753-1025 to make your appointment today.