Whether you’re a single guy looking forward to a lifetime of adventure or an elderly man with years of adventure already under your belt, you want to live as long as possible in the best of health so you can keep enjoying the unique experiences life has to offer.
The best way to do that is to stay on top of your health. That means that you need to undergo specific health screenings even when you feel perfectly fine.
At Premier Primary Care in Union City, Tennessee, Dr. James Batey and our team specialize in preventive medical care. We offer comprehensive men’s health care services, including annual wellness exams, acute medical care, chronic disease management, and health screenings.
Here, Dr. Batey takes a closer look at men’s health screenings and why it’s so crucial that you get them regularly.
Although many health conditions can affect men and women, some are more common among men, and some affect only men.
Unfortunately, several health dangers sneak up without warning, and you don’t know you have them until the problem has progressed. These conditions can often be detected early with routine screenings, but men tend to avoid doctors.
The American Academy of Family Physicians conducted a study that revealed some disturbing statistics: more than half of the men surveyed had not undergone an annual physical exam, 30% said they put off going to their doctor even when they’re sick, and 20% of the over-55 men had never been screened for colon cancer.
This reluctance to seek care is concerning, considering the many health conditions men face if they don’t take steps to avoid them. The most common health risks for men include:
According to the American Heart Association, more than a third of all men in the United States suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease and about 3 million have strokes.
Routine heart check-ups and regular screens for blood pressure and cholesterol can keep you abreast of your cardiovascular health.
More men tend to over-indulge in alcohol consumption and have a higher alcohol-related death rate than women. Excessive alcohol consumption increases your risk for multiple types of cancer, affects testicular functioning, and may contribute to sexual dysfunction and infertility.
Cancer screenings can detect the disease early, which often equates to a better cure and survival rate.
More and more men are diagnosed with lung cancer every year, according to the American Lung Association. Sometimes due to exposure to asbestos and other chemicals, but most commonly due to smoking. If you’re a long-time smoker, a CT scan can identify cancer before it’s symptomatic.
Chronic cough, or smoker’s cough, is also common among men and can often lead to respiratory problems, such as COPD and emphysema, so screenings can help you avoid these conditions.
Although you may associate diabetes with being overweight, men are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes at a lower weight than women. Diabetes, in turn, can lead to vision loss, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, urinary incontinence, and erectile dysfunction.
Regular blood sugar tests can keep you in the know about whether you’re at risk for developing this chronic condition so you can take steps to prevent it.
Because men are at high risk for colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, and skin cancer, we recommend regular screenings for these specific conditions.
After age 50, you should have your first colonoscopy. The annual frequency depends on your risk factors.
After age 55, you should get your first prostate screening to check your prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and perhaps get a digital rectal exam. Dr. Batey advises you about which tests are most appropriate for you.
Skin cancer can attack any time, so do your best to protect your skin by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen every time you go outside; check for and report any moles the change in size, color, or shape; and get a skin cancer screening every year.
The best way to know when to schedule your men’s health screenings is to come to see Dr. Batey for a thorough physical exam so he can determine your health risks and develop an ongoing health plan that will cover all the appropriate screenings at the correct times.
To get started, use our online scheduling tool to book your first appointment with Dr. Batey or call our friendly staff to set it up. Make 2022 the year you protect your health.