Gentlemen, you have a lot of responsibilities, manage a lot of moving parts, and take care of your home and family. But are you taking care of YOU?
Men often put off health screenings that could have an enormous impact on their health. Sure, they’re not exams anyone looks forward to exactly, but these screenings are absolutely necessary because early detection of certain treatable, beatable cancers could save your life. Get the facts and talk to your doctor.
Colorectal Cancer Screening
For men of average risk with no family history, it is now recommended that screenings for colon cancer begin at age 45 (per the American Cancer Society). However, this could change based on your risk for colon cancer. Your risk is higher if you have a:
– Family history of colon cancer
– Personal history of certain types of polyps
– Personal history of inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis
– Personal history of radiation to the abdomen or pelvis
Being overweight and consumption of red/processed meat, tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and diabetes have also shown links to increased risks for colon cancer.
There are several different ways your primary care physician can screen for colon cancer, and they can recommend a colonoscopy if needed. There’s no need to feel embarrassed about having this essential screening that can keep you safe; in fact, it’s one of the smartest things you can do for your health.
Lung Cancer Screening
The leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men and women in the United States is lung cancer. Globally as well as here in the U.S., it is a fact that the majority of smokers are men. Discuss with your primary care provider whether you are eligible to be screened for lung cancer.
Criteria to be screened include:
– Age 55-74
– Having smoked at least one pack of cigarettes per day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years
– Being a current smoker or having quit within the last 15 years
Of course, if you are a smoker, finding a way to quit can significantly reduce your risk for lung cancer. Set up a dedicated time with your physician to discuss how you can kick the habit.
Prostate Cancer Screening
This is the most common form of cancer discovered in men, and screening for it has evolved over many years. Although there are no current guidelines to start screening at a certain age, you are encouraged to start discussing prostate cancer screenings with your primary care physician at age 50 (per the American Cancer Society). However, if you are at higher risk for prostate cancer, this discussion should start as early as ages 40-45. Risk factors include:
– Being African-American
– Having a first-degree relative (father, brother) with prostate cancer younger than age 65
– Having a known genetic mutation like BRCA in the family
Screening includes a blood test for prostate-specific antigen, or PSA; an examination of the prostate might be done only if deemed necessary. As there are no obvious symptoms of early prostate cancer, it’s important to discuss your need for screening with your doctor. Remember that if prostate cancer is found and treated early, your chances of beating it are very good.
Talk to your doctor about these essential screenings.
They could save your life.
About AdventHealth Medical Group
AdventHealth Medical Group is Central Florida’s most comprehensive multi-specialty medical group practice. With nearly 600 board-certified physicians, the group provides patients with a broad range of medical and surgical services across more than 40 medical specialties.