The Importance of Screening
Men that regularly schedule medical screening tests greatly increase their health optimization levels. It should be ingrained in all men the importance of seeing their primary care physician on a regular basis. Screenings are basically regular checkups to ensure proper functionality for your body’s vital organs.
The overwhelming majority of men love nothing about paying the doctor a visit, but there are some medical tests that can save men’s lives and should be taken regularly.
90% of men that detect testicular cancer early increase their chances for survival. If you are a white male under the age of 40, it is even more important to get tested as there is a greater risk for Caucasians. To check your testicles, you can start at home. While in the shower, roll each testicle at a time between the thumb and fingers to feel for any tenderness or lumps. Cancerous tissue feels hardened, like beans. You should also check the testicles for size and distance. Each testicle should measure nearly an inch and a half long. If they have grown smaller or less distant, a check to the doctor is necessary.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer, affecting 1 in 6 men. The prostate aids in producing the fluid that creates semen and is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The walnut-sized prostate gland should be checked every year after the age of 40. The actual examination takes only a few seconds and is virtually painless. The doctor will simply take lubricant to a gloved hand and feel around for irregularities and if the prostate is larger than usual.
The Guaiac Test (also known as the ‘poop test’) can be done at the same time as your prostate examination. During your prostate test, the doctor can take a small sample of your stool to examine. After applying a solution, the doctor can tell almost immediately if there is blood in your stool, which is one of the signs of colon cancer. A home test, also known as the Hemoccult kit, is available at your local pharmacy.
Colon cancer is one of the most dangerous cancers affecting men in the United States. Colorectal cancer affects the lower region off the intestines and is curable in 90% of all cases if it is detected early, then it can be easily treated and cured. It is still one of the deadlier forms of cancer, third after lung and prostate cancer. Compared to other men’s tests, the colonoscopy test is more involved, however, it only has to be done on average of every ten years. Before the actual test, a special diet that includes laxatives must be followed. In some instances, an enema may be necessary before the procedure. During the test, patients are sedated, sometimes using a general anesthetic. A colonocope is then placed into the colon to check for any polyps which are signs of the onset of colon cancer. If there are any polyps, they can be immediately removed and ten the tissue further tested for any cancerous cells. The entire process lasts approximately thirty minutes and there is no pain involved other than many patients experiencing grogginess after waking up from the procedure. Flexible sigmoidoscopies are to be performed every five years with a colonoscopy every ten years. If there is a family history of colon cancer, testing should be done before the age of 50.
Checking for testosterone levels involves taking a small sample of blood that can check for a man’s overall health. Men that suffer from low levels of testosterone are more likely to be overweight, suffer from diabetes, fatigue, or depression. In addition, men that have low testosterone levels are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis. As men age, testosterone levels naturally drop, which affects sex drive and erectile function. If men suffer from lower levels of testosterone, doctors can prescribe anti-estrogen pills, gels, or even injections that can help balance out levels. By following a good diet and vigorous exercise, lower levels of testosterone can be corrected by reducing fat around the midsection.