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The Importance of Regular Health Screenings for Men

klingensmiths drug stores - the importance of regular health screenings for men

June is Men’s Health Month, which gives us the perfect opportunity to shine a spotlight on an often-overlooked (but crucial) aspect of male wellness: regular health screenings.

While it’s easy to prioritize other commitments, taking charge of your health is one of the most impactful choices you can make. A proactive approach empowers you to stay on top of your health and plays a significant role in preventing serious health issues down the road.

However, men tend to lag behind when it comes to being proactive about their health.

According to a recent survey by Cleveland Clinic, more than half of men report not getting regular health screenings. Furthermore, many don’t know their complete family history regarding certain medical conditions, though roughly a third are concerned about cancer as they age.

So, what’s the big deal about prioritizing health screening for men? Let’s talk about it.

1) Early Detection Saves Lives

By identifying potential men’s health issues in their beginning stages, individuals can access timely interventions and treatments that can significantly alter the trajectory of their outcomes.

For instance, in the case of prostate cancer (one of the most common cancers among men), early detection through screenings like digital rectal exams (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests enables healthcare providers to initiate appropriate treatment plans promptly. This increases the likelihood of successful outcomes and long-term survival.

But we aren’t just talking about cancers. Early detection enhances the efficacy of treatments across the board, empowering individuals to take proactive steps toward managing their health.

By uncovering health concerns early on, men gain valuable opportunities to implement lifestyle modifications, adopt healthier habits, and adhere to medical recommendations – all of which can mitigate the progression of diseases and reduce the risk of complications.

Whether we’re talking about managing high cholesterol levels or identifying the hidden signs of inflammatory bowel disease, it’s always better to know sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, that’s not possible if men fail to seek regular medical care.

2) Preventive Care is Key

By prioritizing preventive measures such as regular health screenings, men can mitigate the risk of developing chronic diseases and significantly improve their overall well-being.

Moreover, preventive care fosters a culture of health consciousness and empowerment among men, encouraging them to make informed decisions about their lifestyle choices and health behaviors. Regular check-ups, screenings, and health assessments encourage men to stay engaged in their healthcare journey and prioritize long-term wellness.

The overall mortality rate is 41% higher for men than women, and it’s higher for men for 8 out of 10 leading causes of death – including heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. To help align these numbers, men need to be more involved in and aware of their necessary care plans.

3) Personalized Health Plans

Lastly, if men aren’t seeing healthcare providers regularly, they’re likely not receiving personalized care.

Custom treatment is paramount in addressing men’s health issues. A proper health plan should recognize the unique biological, behavioral, and environmental factors that influence an individual’s well-being.

Men often face health challenges that vary widely based on factors such as age, genetics, lifestyle, and pre-existing conditions. A personalized approach allows healthcare professionals to tailor interventions specifically to each man’s needs, ensuring they receive specific health screenings as necessary.

Furthermore, personalized health plans consider factors such as family history, personal preferences, and lifestyle habits, maximizing the likelihood of successful outcomes and long-term health improvements while decreasing the risk of future medical problems.

Recommended Screening Tests for Adult Men

Prostate Cancer Screening

Regular prostate cancer screening is incredibly important for men, particularly those with a personal or family history of the disease or known risk factors.

While not all cases of prostate cancer exhibit symptoms in the early stages, a routine physical exam coupled with regular screenings can detect abnormalities before they progress.

According to the American Cancer Society, about 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. There are many benefits of early detection. Most importantly, it significantly increases treatment success rates, giving patients more options and time to make crucial decisions.

It’s recommended that every man receive their first prostate test when they turn 50. Low-risk men between 50 and 69 should be screened every two to four years, but high risk will need to be screened more regularly.

Cholesterol Screening

Cholesterol testing is an integral component of any man’s periodic health examination, especially if he has a strong family history of coronary heart disease.

High cholesterol levels are a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, which remains one of the leading causes of mortality among men worldwide. Regular cholesterol screenings empower men to make informed decisions about their lifestyle choices, healthy diet choices, and medical treatments, ultimately contributing to better heart health and overall well-being.

As a general guideline, male adults should have their cholesterol checked at least every five years. However, certain risk factors (such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.) may bump that recommendation up to at least once per year.

Blood Pressure Screening

Regular blood pressure screenings serve as a critical indicator of men’s cardiovascular wellness.

It’s estimated that 47% of American adults in 2024 have high blood pressure, yet many (as much as 38%) are unaware of their condition. Left untreated, high blood pressure can significantly increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke.

Regular blood pressure screenings allow healthcare professionals to identify hypertension early on, enabling timely interventions such as lifestyle modifications and medication to manage blood pressure levels and mitigate the risk of cardiovascular complications.

Men should have their blood pressure checked at least once every two years if their levels are consistently normal. If they have high blood pressure symptoms, they may need to do so more regularly.

Blood Sugar & Diabetes Tests

Regular blood sugar tests play a crucial role in the early detection and management of diabetes, a condition that can significantly impact overall health and quality of life if left untreated. By incorporating blood sugar testing and diabetes screening into routine healthcare appointments, men can take proactive steps toward understanding and managing their risk.

It’s recommended that adult men have their blood sugar tested at least once a year, if not twice based on certain risk factors.

Colorectal Cancer Screening

Regular colorectal cancer screening is highly recommended for all men, especially those with a first-degree relative affected by the disease.

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States. Regular screening, which may include a combination of colonoscopies, stool tests, and sigmoidoscopies, allows healthcare providers to identify precancerous polyps or early-stage colorectal cancer when treatment is most effective.

Generally, men should start regular colon cancer screening at age 45. More frequent and specific testing may be necessary if they have an above-average risk of colorectal cancer.

Skin Cancer Screening

Currently, men over the age of 50 are at a higher risk of developing skin cancer than women, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. It is estimated that melanoma will affect 1 in 27 men and 1 in 40 women in their lifetime.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to schedule an annual skin cancer checkup with a healthcare provider for early detection and treatment. During these screenings, healthcare professionals evaluate the skin for any suspicious moles or lesions, providing an opportunity for early intervention and improved outcomes.

Testicular Screenings

It’s highly recommended that men perform testicular self-exams and adhere to screening guidelines to safeguard their reproductive health.

Testicular cancer is the most common cancer among men in their late 20s and early 30s, and it’s estimated that nearly 10,000 men will develop testis cancer each year in the United States.

Therefore, regular testicular exams are essential for early detection and prompt treatment. Healthcare providers recommend that men perform monthly testicular self-exams to familiarize themselves with the normal size, shape, and texture of their testicles, enabling them to detect any abnormalities such as lumps or changes in size.

Furthermore, routine testicular exams by healthcare professionals, typically during annual check-ups, complement self-exams and provide an additional layer of screening for testicular cancer.

It’s best if men have their testicles examined by a trained healthcare provider at least once per year, starting at age 15.

In Summary

During Men’s Health Month, we must consider how regular health checkups and screenings matter for everyone, including male patients.

By taking charge of your health through preventive measures, you can reduce the risk of serious health complications and enjoy a higher quality of life. Your health is your most valuable asset, so invest in it wisely through proactive care, regular checkups, and cancer screening appointments.

Let Klingensmith’s Be a Part of Your Health Monitoring

At Klingensmith’s, we’re committed to supporting men on their journeys to healthier, happier lives. We offer many resources for checking on your health regularly, from pulse ox devices to blood pressure cuffs and beyond.

Have questions or concerns? Drop by one of our locations. Our pharmacists and store representatives will be happy to assist you.

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Klingensmith's Drug Stores

Providing Pharmaceutical care in the Armstrong County area for over 80 years.