Did you know that if a man has a first-degree relative – meaning a parent or a brother with prostate cancer, their risk for developing the disease is about 2.5 times higher than the others?
Like prostate cancer, when you look at other major diseases – like heart disease, diabetes, or bowel cancer – men are more likely to suffer from them and yet pay no heeds to preventive measures.
This Men’s Health Awareness Month, think of preventive healthcare as an investment because when you start caring for yourself, it rewards you with a longer lifespan and improved quality of life.
Here are the five essential healthcare screenings needed for men
1. Prostate Cancer Screening
Prostate cancer is a bit unusual, meaning it is possible to have it for years without realising it.
Since prostate cancer tends to run in families, which suggests, it can be inherited too, consider undergoing screenings. A PSA blood test can be a good start. It generates a PSA score that determines how significant your risks are for developing prostate cancer.
But here’s a thing, a PSA screening may also lead to treatments that are not necessary, as the PSA test can identify only slow-growing cancers that would never threaten someone’s life.
So, be sure to ask your doctors before you undergo a prostate cancer screening.
2. Bowel cancer screening
Another deadly cancer in men is bowel cancer. Around 1 in 11 Australian men develop bowel cancer once in their lifetime, claiming the lives of 2,400 men and women every year.
But it strikes men differently than women. For example, bowel cancer tends to locate at the end part of the large intestine, whereas for a woman it happens further up in the intestine.
And although the lifetime risk of developing bowel cancer is almost similar for both men and women, it tends to pose a greater risk for men because they consume alcohol and use more tobacco.
Bowel Cancer Australia recommends that all men, even at average risk of bowel cancer, be screened every two years between if you’re 50 years and over.
3. Diabetes Screening for men
As a man, you’re more likely to get Type 2 Diabetes than women, which serves as a risk factor for several serious health issues, including heart disease and erectile dysfunctions in men.
As a matter of fact, Type 2 diabetes also tends to double the risk of having lower testosterone, causing lower energy, depression, and reduced libido and other specific side effects that men suffer when they have diabetes.
Diabetes Australia notes that diabetes is the biggest challenge confronting Australia’s health system as about 280 Australians develop diabetes every day.
So, if you’re at any risk, including being aged 55 and above, we recommend getting screened regularly.
4. Skin cancer check
So men, make sure you are also taking some preventative measures.
Use sunscreen (SPF 50 suggested for Australian summer), seek shade when outside, and familiarise yourself with the look and feel of your skin.
And when you notice anything suspicious, talk to a doctor soon.
5. Heart health screening
Heart disease affects everyone, but it progresses differently for men and women.
Notably, men suffer from severe chest pressure in a heart attack, while it is almost spontaneous for women. Men also tend to develop a plaque buildup inside the arteries and cause damage to the blood vessels.
That said, heart disease can be largely avoided, even when it runs in your family. First, get involved with diet and lifestyle measures to ward off heart disease. Start by recognising heart disease symptoms and undergo screenings regularly even when your health seems all good.
Read our article, Top Diet and Lifestyle Measures to Ward Off Heart Disease.
Get help with Epping Family Medical And Specialist Centre
For men’s health issues, our doctors are able to help you directly, or refer to our in-clinic specialists for further diagnosis and treatment.
We conduct chronic diseases assessments including diabetes check, and health specific men’s health checks at our clinic.
Visit https://efmsc.com.au/services/general-practice/ and have a look.