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12 MUST-HAVE screening tests for men

Last updated on: September 5, 2011 19:02 IST

12 MUST-HAVE screening tests for men

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Lifemojo.com

Here are 12 most important screening tests that are essential for men.

You may have been denied a late night party or an overnight excursion just because you are an 'agile' woman. You may have repented on being a woman at that point of time. You may have felt so bad when your parents have permitted your brother to be a part of the same ventures. In fact, it is a common notion that women are more vulnerable to any type of adversity.

But men are also human beings after all! They are also susceptible to various types of diseases and hence, they should also stay conscious about their health. It's not about being 'bold, dashing or daring', but it is about being a bit responsible!

Many men do not like tests and hospitals. They do not want to know if something is wrong with them! There is no reason to worship this attitude. There are some health screening tests that are essential for men and here is a look at them.

1. Body mass index test

The body mass index, or BMI, is a measure of the body fat based on a man's height and weight. A BMI between 18.5 and 25 indicates a normal weight.

If BMI exceeds 25, then a man probably has an increased body weight. If his BMI is over 30, then he will be considered as obese. Increased body weight and obesity increase the risk for many diseases, including heart disease and diabetes. He needs to focus on losing weight. He should start by introducing a healthier diet and physical activity.

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LifeMojo is one of the most trusted source of information about good health and wellness. To those who want to manage their health themselves, LifeMojo provides necessary information, tips, tracking tools and support to help them stay informed and motivated.


Photographs: Wikimedia Commons
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2. High cholesterol levels

After 35, a man should have his cholesterol level checked. But this needs to be conducted at age 20 if:

  • He consumes tobacco
  • He is obese
  • He has diabetes or high blood pressure
  • He has a personal history of heart disease or blocked arteries
  • A man or a woman in his family had a heart attack before age 50 and 60 respectively

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3. Blood pressure

A man should check his blood pressure frequently. High blood pressure is 140/90 or higher. High blood pressure can cause strokes, heart attacks, kidney and eye problems and heart failure.

Lifestyle changes need to be implemented to reduce blood pressure. If you are known to be hypertensive then, doctors will recommend you to check your blood pressure twice a day.

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4. Diabetes

A man experiencing high cholesterol or high blood pressure needs to opt for tests so as to find out whether he is suffering from diabetes or not. This test is a simple blood test.

Diabetes or high blood sugar can cause problems with his heart, eyes, feet, kidneys, nerves and any other body parts.

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5. Prostate cancer

Once a man hits 50 years of age, his doctor will begin to pay close attention to his prostate health. His doctor will look for symptoms like hardening, enlargement and lumps in the prostate gland. These may indicate the signs of prostate cancer.

Screenings for healthy men may include both a digital rectal exam (DRE) and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test.

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6. Colorectal cancer

Screening begins at age 50 in average-risk adults. A family history of colorectal cancer may require a man to opt for early screening. Colonoscopy is a common test for detecting polyps and colorectal cancer.

Polyps can be removed at the time of the test. A similar alternative is a flexible sigmoidoscopy that examines only the lower part of the colon. Some patients opt for a virtual colonoscopy, a CT scan or a double contrast barium enema -- a special X-ray.

If polyps are detected, an actual colonoscopy is needed to remove them.

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7. Skin cancer

The American Cancer Society and the American Academy of Dermatology recommend regular skin self-exams to check for any changes in marks on the skin including shape, color and size. A skin exam by a dermatologist or other health professionals should be part of a routine cancer checkup.

Treatments for skin cancer are more effective and less disfiguring in case it is detected earlier.

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8. Glaucoma

Screening tests for glaucoma look for abnormally high pressure within the eye so that the condition can be treated before the optic nerve gets damaged. Eye tests for glaucoma are based on age and personal risk:

  • Under 40 Years: Every 2 to 4 years
  • 40 to 54 Years: Every 1 to 3 years
  • 55 to 64 Years: Every 1 to 2 years
  • Above 65 Years: Every 6 to12 months

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9. Depression

Depression is a serious condition that affects both men and women and often it can be treated with a combination of medication and therapy. The biggest signs of depression are lack of interest in things that were once enjoyed and a sense of sadness that never goes.

Depression is a treatable illness.

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10. Sexually transmitted diseases

Some of them are gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia and HIV. Sexually active men need to undergo testing for sexually transmitted diseases. These are mostly simple blood tests or swabs.

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11. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

A man will need to undergo HIV screening tests if:

  • He has had unprotected sex with multiple partners
  • He has sex with men
  • He uses or has used injection drugs
  • He exchanges sex for money or drugs or has sex partners who do it
  • He has or has had a sex partner who is HIV-infected or makes use of injection drugs
  • He is being treated for a sexually transmitted disease

HIV-infected individuals can remain symptom-free for many years. The only way to know they are infected is with a series of blood tests. The first test is called ELISA or EIA.

It looks for antibodies to HIV in the blood. It's possible not to be infected and still show positive on the test. So a second test called a Western blot assay is done for confirmation. A more recent infection can yield a negative test result.

Repeat testing is recommended. If a man feels that he has been exposed to HIV, then he needs to ask his doctor about the tests.

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12. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)

A smoker in the age group 65-75 should ask his doctor to screen him for AAA. It is a bulging in the abdominal aorta, the largest artery in the body. This may burst and can cause dangerous bleeding and death without warning.

Men will be men as usual! They will be careless and this is what may have attracted you when you fell in love with your man. They love to be pampered and they will always want to draw your attention.

So give them the attention they desire or deserve! And convince them to opt for these tests. Play the role of a darling daughter, a sensible sister and a wise wife!


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