What makes health screening valuable is its ability to help you detect potential problems while minimizing unclear, ambiguous, or confusing results. Screening means testing for diseases and conditions that may not yet be showing symptoms. Men are less likely than women to get routine physical examinations and screenings. A screening test is conducted to discover health disorders or diseases in people who do not show any symptoms of the disease. The goal here is early detection and lifestyle changes or surveillance, to reduce the risk of disease, or to detect it early enough and to treat it most effectively.
One of the most important screening tests a man can do for his health is getting the right screening test done. Screenings find diseases early, before you have symptoms when they are easier to treat. Without early detection, there might be complications. The tests required are based on your age and risk factors. Here are diseases and various tests that can help you detect them early and prevent complications.
Prostate Cancer Health Screening
Prostate cancer tends to be a slow-growing cancer but there are also aggressive, fast-growing types of prostate cancer. Screening tests can find the disease early before symptom develops. Test for prostate cancer includes a Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) and possibly a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. The test should be done at age 40 for men with a strong family history of prostate cancer, age 45 for men at high risk and this includes African-Americans and 50 for average risk men.
Testicular Cancer Health Screening
This uncommon cancer develops in a man’s testicles, the reproductive glands that produce sperm. Most cases occur between the ages of 20 and 54. Test that can help detect the disease early is when a man has a testicular examination when they see a doctor for a routine physical exam. Men at high risk or family history might have additional screening. Regular self-exams are also advisable. Gently feel for hard lumps, smooth bumps, or changes in size or shape of the testes.
Colorectal Cancer Health Screening
Men have a slighter risk of developing it than women. The majority of colon cancers slowly develop from colon polyps i.e growths on the inner surface of the colon. A colonoscopy is a common test for detecting polyps and colorectal cancer. A special x-ray or CT scan is also used.
The most dangerous form of skin cancer is melanoma. It begins in specialized cells called melanocytes that produce skin colour. Men are 2-3 times more likely to get non-melanoma basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers than women are. A skin examination by a dermatologist is recommended as part of a routine checkup
High Blood Pressure
The risk increases with age. It is also related to weight and lifestyle. Screening is done by checking blood pressure. Normal blood pressure is 120/80mmHg.
A high level of LDL cholesterol in the blood causes sticky plaque to build up in the walls of the arteries. This increases the risk of heart disease. A fasting blood lipid panel is a blood test that tells your level of total cholesterol, LDL “bad” cholesterol, HDL “good” cholesterol, and triglycerides. Starting at age 20, men should be screened if they are at increased risk of heart disease. From age 35, men need regular cholesterol testing.
A fasting blood sugar test, glucose tolerance test, or an AC. All can be used alone or together to screen for diabetes. Healthy adults should have the test every 3 years, starting at age 45
HIV is the virus that causes AIDs. It is present in the blood and other bodily secretions of infected individuals, even when there are no symptoms. The only way to know if infected is with a series of blood tests. The first test is called ELISA or EIA. It looks for antibodies to HIV in the blood. A second test is Western blot assay for confirmation.
This is a group of eye diseases that can gradually damage the optic nerve and possibly lead to blindness. Eye screening checks for abnormally high pressure within the eye, to detect and treat the condition. Eye tests for glaucoma are based on age. Under 40: every 2-4 years, 40- 54: every 1-2 years; 55-65; every 1-2 years, 65 upward, every 6-12 months.