We can usually count on Dad to take care of us – provide food, clothing, and shelter, fix things around the house and make us feel secure in times of uncertainty. But expect him to visit the doctor on a regular basis, and Dad often falls short.
Men, in general, tend to shrug off the need for check-ups and important health screenings that could save their lives, or at least prevent serious health problems. This Father’s Day, remind the guys in your lives to tune-up their bodies (not just their cars) with these five important tests:
The risk of high blood pressure begins to increase when men hit age 45. African Americans tend to develop it younger and have more severe hypertension. In Latino communities, one out of every four adults has high blood pressure. Since high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attack, stroke and kidney failure, men should be tested annually. Learn how to keep your heart healthy.
Rectal Exam and PSA Test
By age 50, men should begin to get screened for prostate cancer. (Earlier if it runs in the family or if he is African American.) The screening includes a rectal exam and a blood test called PSA or the prostate-specific antigen test.
Colon Cancer Screening
Sigmoidoscopies (internal exams that look for signs of polyps or colon cancer) are recommended every 5 years for men of average risk for colon cancer, along with yearly stool tests for blood, starting at age 50. If you have a history of colon cancer or polyps in your family, you may need to be screened more frequently.
Routine Physical Examination
Even if a man thinks he’s in tip-top shape, a yearly checkup can’t hurt to help catch little problems before they become big ones.
Other exams to consider: