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Men: Take preventive measures at any age

  •   by Medihelp
  •   08 June 2016
  •   810 view(s)
It is commonly known that most men fall short when it comes to managing their personal health, whether they’re skipping important health screenings or avoiding a visit to the doctor altogether.

Men should see their healthcare providers for regular check-ups even if they feel healthy. Getting the right screening test at the right time is one of the best things a man can do for his health. Screenings find diseases early, before there are symptoms and when they're easier to treat.

Prostate health

If the health risks associated with the prostate are detected early, it can save lives. Ask your doctor for a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and a digital rectal exam (DRE) yearly, beginning at age 50.
Men at high risk, such as men whose first-degree relative (father, brother or son) has been diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age (younger than age 65), should begin testing at age 45.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm
If you are between the ages of 65 and 75 and you have smoked 100 or more cigarettes in your lifetime, you should get screened once for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). AAA is a bulging in the abdominal aorta, the largest artery in the body. An AAA may burst, which can cause dangerous bleeding and death.
An ultrasound, a painless procedure in which you lie on a table while a technician slides a medical device over your abdomen, will show whether an aneurysm is present.

Colon cancer
Have a screening test for colorectal cancer starting at age 50. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, you may need to be screened earlier. Several different tests can detect this cancer. Your doctor can help you decide which is best for you.

Get screened for diabetes (high blood sugar) if you have high blood pressure or if you take medication for high blood pressure.
Diabetes can cause problems with your heart, brain, eyes, feet, kidneys, nerves, and other body parts.

High blood cholesterol
If you are 35 or older, have your blood cholesterol checked regularly with a blood test. High cholesterol increases your chances of heart disease, stroke, and poor circulation. Talk to your doctor or a nurse about having your cholesterol checked, starting at age 20 if:
• You use tobacco
• You are overweight or obese
• You have diabetes or high blood pressure
• You have a history of heart disease or blocked arteries
• A man in your family had a heart attack before age 50, or a woman before age 60

Being overweight or obese can increase your chances of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and many cancers or other health problems.
Have your body mass index (BMI) calculated to screen for obesity. BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. If you are found to be overweight or obese, discuss what you can do to reduce your weight with your doctor.

If you have felt "down" or hopeless during the past two weeks or you have had little interest in doing things you usually enjoy, talk to your doctor about depression. Depression is a treatable illness.

Your general health is subject to risk factors such as age, family history, and personal habits. While you cannot control your age and family history, you can take steps to change your personal habits in the interest of preventive healthcare.

The following are some specific steps that you can take to prevent disease:
• Stick to a healthy diet. Generally, a diet should be low in salt and fat. It should be high in fibre with an emphasis on fruit and vegetables.
• Take time to exercise. Exercise is a preventive measure for almost any significant health problem. Generally, 30 to 40 minutes of a sustained exercise activity three to five days per week is the goal for most adults.
• Wear sunscreen. Avoiding prolonged sun exposure and using sunscreen can reduce the risk of skin cancer.
• Have regular eye and dental examinations. Regular eye exams are one of the best ways to protect your vision. Dental exams are important for the health of teeth and gums. In addition, many health conditions that affect the entire body generate warning signs that can appear in and around your mouth.
• Limit your consumption of alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol consumption should be limited to no more than 60 ml of liquor daily.
• Avoid tobacco. The negative health effects related to tobacco are well-known. Being tobacco-free is a major goal in any preventive healthcare programme.
• Practise safe sex. The use of latex condoms can help prevent sexually transmitted infections. Safe sexual practices are a must in an adult preventive healthcare programme.

Join Medihelp Medical Scheme to keep your family healthy
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