Health check up checklist for men
- By Dr. T Deepa Porkodi
- Prostate Cancer -
Prostate cancer is the lesser known killer in men. It is a slow growing cancer, but at times, its symptoms can be aggressive as well. Detecting prostate cancer at its onset can help in treating it effectively. Tests include a digital rectal exam and a blood test for Prostate Specific Antigens (PSA).
- Testicular Cancer -
This uncommon cancer can affect any male between the ages 21 to 55. A physical exam during yearly medical checkups is recommended for all men. Men having a higher risk, with family history, should speak to their doctors regarding additional tests for screening. Self-examination through regular gentle palpation of the testicles to notice any change in shape or size, presence of lumps is also suggested by doctors.
- Colorectal Cancer -
This is the second most common cancer in men. Men over 50 and younger, if they have a familial risk, are suggested to get a screening colonoscopy done to detect this cancer. It usually starts as a polyp that grows and invades the nearby areas to develop into a full-blown cancer. The polyps, if detected early, can be removed and cancer prevented. A CT scan or a double barium enema can also help in detecting polyps.
- High Blood Pressure -
With the kind of lifestyle men lead today, almost every other man is bound to have BP issues. Regularly checking the BP is essential as it helps detect high BP which may lead to a variety of other problems including stroke and heart attacks. The sooner the detection, the sooner the measures for control.
- Cholesterol Levels -
Bad eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, and mental stress can all lead to lots of cholesterol roaming around in your arteries. This will eventually clog the arteries and cause diseases like high blood pressure and atherosclerosis which can be life-threatening. Get your total cholesterol, LDL, VLDL, HDL, and triglyceride levels checked regularly and initiate timely interventions to bring them under control.
- HIV -
This is the most commonly spreading STD among men. Due to its chronic nature, HIV is often detected accidentally when it may be too late. Regular tests for HIV detection are essential if one is physically active with multiple partners. Be safe though and use a condom.
- Glaucoma - It is extremely common and is one of the leading causes of blindness. Glaucoma has no cure, but it can be controlled well with timely detection. Screening tests should be undertaken by men under 40 years at an interval of 2 to 3 years after 35. A yearly test is recommended for older men.