Men’s health safe screening

Man with beard
Oct 22,2012

Seeing your doctor for recommended screenings is important to your long-term health. Make sure that you — or the man you love — is up to date on screenings and aware of potential cancers.


Skin

Wearing sunscreen isn’t just for a day at the beach or ballpark. Use a sunscreen with a SPF of at least 30 on a daily basis. If you notice an irritated or irregular skin growth, make sure to see your doctor.


Prostate
Screening for prostate cancer has been the source of a vigorous debate. Until recently, it was generally recommended that men age 40 and above have a routine blood test called a prostate-specific antigen or PSA to find out if they have prostate cancer. Within the last year, however, a federal task force found insufficient evidence to recommend routine prostate screenings. With the continuing debate, it’s important to discuss your options with your doctor and determine your individual plan for prostate health.


Regular exams
Visiting your doctor on a regular basis can help you prevent disease and maintain good health. Many serious conditions — such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even diabetes — may not show signs or symptoms. Simple tests ordered by your doctor can reveal these conditions and give you the opportunity to take action to reduce your risk of disease. Find a doctor who can review your health status over time and help you develop plans to improve your health.


Colon
Beginning at age 50 (or earlier based on certain risk factors), men should begin to follow a testing schedule to detect polyps (small growths that can become cancerous) and cancer. Screening options include colonoscopy, which allows doctors to view both upper and lower sections of the colon. Sigmoidoscopy screens the lower part of the colon and is often combined with a fecal test. Work with your doctor to identify the screening schedule that’s best for you.


Lungs
Promising new methods to screen for lung cancer are in development. It’s important that you talk with your doctor if you have a history of smoking, and if you still smoke, that you take steps to quit. Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths and cigarette smoking is the primary risk factor for the disease.