If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: protect your health with exercise and healthy eating, get screened, pay attention to your symptoms. But doctors say it again and again (and then again) because not only can it literally save your life, but many people aren’t listening, says Thomas Moccia, D.O., a cardiologist at Inspira Medical Center Mullica Hill and a provider member of the Cardiac Partners network of physicians.
June is Men’s Health Month! And as we all know, men are significantly less likely to seek the proper preventative health care than their female counterparts.
Men - never underestimate the power of regular screening. For most men with an average risk profile, maintaining good health can be as easy as keeping a watchful eye on a schedule of check-ups, and making time for the occasional screening. In fact, detecting the signs of a developing condition or catching symptoms early can have a massive impact on the effectiveness of treatment.
David Aderholdt, D.O., a Primary Care physician with Inspira Medical Group in Millville, NJ says when it comes to recommending the proper treatment plan for male patients, the most important thing men can do is be proactive.
Here are a few potentially life-saving tests for men to consider.
Colorectal cancer is more common in men than women, affecting one in every 22 men in the U.S. Colorectal cancer can be deadly, but its impact can be minimized by following colonoscopy screening guidelines, which recommend men with an average risk receive one colonoscopy every ten years starting at age 45.
Though they can be uncomfortable for some, colonoscopies are both a therapeutic and diagnostic tool. This means that during the screening, a technician can not only locate potentially dangerous growths in the large intestine, they can also remove them, preventing the growth–or polyp–from becoming any larger or developing cancerous mutations.
Prostate Examination or PSA
Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer found in men, trailing only skin cancer. In fact, one in nine men will experience prostate cancer in their lifetime. But, if caught early, this disease responds well to treatment.
Current recommendations encourage all men over age 55 to receive occasional screenings, though your doctor may also recommend starting them earlier, depending on your family history. Prostate cancer screenings can be done manually by a trained physician or through a blood test called the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test.
Blood Cholesterol Scan
Cholesterol is needed to keep our circulatory system running smoothly, but it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Its waxy texture is necessary in the creation of cells, but an excessive amount of cholesterol can increase your risk for a blood clot, heart disease, heart attack or stroke.
High cholesterol doesn’t usually cause physical symptoms, which is why all men over 35 should have a cholesterol screening at least once a year. To be screened, your doctor will only need a simple blood test.
Blood Pressure Test
High blood pressure is a common but dangerous condition. Similar to high cholesterol, high blood pressure often comes without symptoms but can elevate your risk for heart disease, heart attack or stroke.
Dr. Aderholdt adds, “It’s important to note that nearly all of these conditions are typically present with little to no symptoms. The point of screening is to find these conditions in their earliest stages so that preventive measures can be taken to avoid contracting full blown diseases or conditions, requiring invasive procedure or medications.”
So men… celebrate Men’s Health Month by making an appointment with your Primary Care provider and treating yourself to a schedule of appropriate health screenings! If you do not have an established Primary Care provider, Inspira Medical Group can help. Call us at 1-800-INSPIRA to find the Inspira Medical Group Primary Care office and provider nearest you.