8 Medical Exams Every Man Should Get
May 16, 2022
8 Medical Exams Every Man Should Get
Everyone should visit a doctor at least once a year to discuss their health and get periodic physical exams. The kinds of exams vary by gender and age, but this is a list of tests you should be considering if you are an adult male:
- Cholesterol. About 1 in 5 adolescents and nearly 93 million adults over 20 have high cholesterol, leading to serious health problems, including heart attacks and strokes. Cholesterol exams are simple and involve a quick blood draw. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDD) recommends that everyone get their cholesterol checked at least once every five years. A cholesterol test will tell you about the levels of good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein or HDL), which helps to remove other forms of cholesterol from your blood stream; bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein or LDL), which can build up in your arteries and reduce blood flow, and triglycerides, a type of fat associated with heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
- Body Mass Index (BMI). Being overweight raises your risk for diabetes and heart disease. Your BMI measures your body fat based on your height and weight. A high BMI can be a warning sign that you are at risk of obesity. The CDC recommends that a healthy BMI for an adult is somewhere between 18.5 and 25.
- Blood Pressure. Testing your blood pressure is important because it can offer an early warning of health issues. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke. Controlling high blood pressure can reduce your risk of developing serious health problems. The American Heart Association suggests getting your blood pressure checked every two years if your average blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg. If your blood pressure is higher, your doctor will likely want to check more often.
- Diabetes. About 1 in 10 Americans suffer from diabetes, which can damage blood vessels and nerves. Severe cases of diabetes can also increase the risk of heart disease or stroke. High blood pressure may be a symptom of diabetes, which is easy to diagnose through a blood test.
- Colorectal Cancer. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among American men and women. If you are 50, it is time to get screened. Today, screening options include a colonoscopy, which usually takes 15 to 20 minutes, or DNA stool tests like Cologuard, which test stool samples for any signs of DNA that may have been altered by cancer. Discuss the right kind of test for you with your doctor.
- Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA). An AAA is caused by enlarged blood vessels in the stomach that ruptures. Though no symptoms are associated with this condition, it is almost always fatal. The only way to identify it is by getting an ultrasound to detect an AAA before it ruptures. Medical experts recommend that men over 64 and are current or former smokers get tested.
- Depression. The American Psychological Association reports that 9% of American men suffer from depression. If you are feeling depressed, hopeless, or losing interest in things that you normally enjoy, you should discuss those feelings with a doctor, who may be able to prescribe therapy or medication.
- Melanoma or skin cancer. Skin cancer is the fifth most common cancer among men, and the risk of developing melanoma increases with age. You should check your body for signs of melanoma once a month. If you find a mole that changes in size or shape, discuss it immediately with a doctor.
Get The Care You Need
To stay healthy, adult men need to routinely be screened for a variety of conditions. You should discuss the right exams for you with your doctor. If you do not have a doctor, Grady Health System can help. If you need a primary care physician, call us at (404) 616-1000. We’ll arrange an appointment at a Primary Care Center near you. Doctors there can treat most conditions and provide access to Grady’s unparalleled medical specialty expertise.