During June, we focus on men’s health, and we know that being a dad is a big responsibility. Fathers often push themselves to work longer and harder to look after their loved ones. They may not place their health at the top of their priorities, but less sleep, longer hours at work and less free time may come at a cost – both physically and mentally. It is therefore important that dads have regular screening tests done.
Screening means testing for diseases and conditions that may not yet be causing symptoms. It provides insights about early disease risk so that men can take proactive steps with their doctor to prevent chronic illnesses. Doctors recommend that screening tests be done once a year, but if you already have a disease or condition, more frequent testing may be required. Your doctor will advise you in this regard.
Here are the different screening tests, based on men’s age and risk factors:
The results of a cholesterol test will give you and your doctor a good idea of what you need to do to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Men with normal cholesterol levels need to get tested every 5 years, starting at age 18. If your “bad” cholesterol levels are high, you need to get tested every six months.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer found in men after skin cancer. Screenings for healthy men include a digital rectal exam and possibly a prostate-specific antigen blood test. Men who are at high risk of prostate cancer, including those with a family history of this type of cancer, should start getting tested annually at 40, and those with an average risk can get screened at least once every two years from age 50.
All men should have a testicular exam as part of their preventive screening tests. Men who are at high risk, such as those with a family history of this type of cancer, should talk to their doctor about additional screening tests. This uncommon cancer develops in a man’s testicles, and most cases occur between the ages of 20 and 54.
Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer. Men have a slightly higher risk of developing it than women. This type of cancer can be prevented by finding and removing colon polyps before they turn cancerous.
In average-risk adults, screening starts at age 50 and gets repeated every 10 years depending on the individual’s risk factors. Your doctor will view the entire colon during a routine colonoscopy using a flexible tube and a camera, or a sigmoidoscopy which examines only the lower part of the colon.
Dads: When looking after your health, remember the basics
Medihelp’s benefits for men’s health
Medihelp supports your health through our added insured benefits for men. The following can be obtained at any Clicks/Dis-Chem pharmacy clinics per beneficiary:
Prime range, Unify, Elite and Plus
A combo test (blood glucose, cholesterol, BMI & blood pressure measurement) or individual test (blood glucose or cholesterol)
- HIV testing, counselling & support
- A tetanus vaccine
- A flu vaccination
Prime range, Elite and Plus
Men 40 years and older furthermore have benefits for a prostate test (PSA level) requested by a medical doctor.
Wellness tests are available at your Necesse network doctor and are subject to available day-to-day benefits.
Medihelp has benefits for families
We want to give the best for your family, and that’s why, on Medihelp’s Prime range, you only pay for two children younger than 18 years, after which child dependant rates will apply from the beginning of the year following the year in which they turn 18, until they are 26 years old. Read more about our comprehensive plans here.