Here’s how to take charge of your health
The National Center for Health Statistics says one out of every five men hasn’t seen a doctor in more than a year. According to Dr. Gene Winfield, primary care physician at Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital and Desert Grove Family Medical, men typically don’t go because they are either too busy, are fearful that their doctor may find a serious problem, or are uncomfortable when it comes to exams like prostate checks.
“Whether in their 20s, 30s, 40s or 50s, men are not invincible,” says Dr. Winfield. Here is what he says you need to have checked, based on age:
MEN IN THEIR 20s: An annual exam includes blood pressure and checking that height and weight are proportional. The checks also include cholesterol testing every five years. Doctors also screen for skin cancer, diabetes, liver problems, sexually transmitted diseases and testicular cancer.
MEN IN THEIR 30s: Testing includes much of what it did when they were in their 20s, only vision examinations and screening for coronary heart disease are common.
MEN IN THEIR 40s: Testing expands to include diabetes screening every three years once patients are over the age of 45. Also, doctors tend to look more closely for skin and oral cancers, as well as behavioral health issues.
MEN IN THEIR 50s: An annual screening for Type 2 diabetes is recommended, as well as checking for lipid disorders, conducting an electrocardiogram and testing vision and hearing. Doctors also screen more closely for prostate and colon cancer, as well as coronary heart disease.
FOR MEN 60+: An annual physical looks for all of the above, with an added focus on lung cancer and mental health wellness, specifically screening for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.