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Men’s Health: Screenings for Every Age

Men’s Health: Screenings for Every Age

When you’re feeling well, it can be tempting to skip regular doctor visits or put off routine screenings. But while they may seem unnecessary, these simple checkups can turn out to be some of the most important steps you can take for your health.

“As primary care doctors, we work hard on prevention,” said Jackson Hatfield, MD, primary care physician at Archbold Primary Care. “Our goal is to prevent illness or detect it at a very early stage, so we have a greater chance of treating it effectively, and we can reduce the risk of complications.”

Starting Young

Many men believe that screenings and regular doctor visits aren’t necessary until they are in their 40s or 50s. But in reality, routine checkups should happen at every age.

“Between ages 18 and 40, men should be getting several health screenings,” Dr. Hatfield said. “This is especially important for conditions that many have no symptoms, such as high blood pressure. For younger men, we also screen for obesity, improper alcohol and drug use, and Type 2 diabetes for those who are at risk.”

At age 35, cholesterol screenings should also begin and continue every five years.

Continuing Screenings

When men reach age 40, additional screenings might be recommended.

  • Prostate cancer: Depending on their risk factors, men should start talking to their providers between ages 40 and 50 about the benefits and risks of prostate cancer screening. Men at high risk might begin screening at 40 or 45, while those at average risk can begin at 50.
  • Colon cancer: The American Cancer Society now recommends that men and women at average risk begin screenings for colon cancer at age 45, continuing until age 75. Several screening options are available, including a colonoscopy once every 10 years.

Staying Healthy At Every Age

No matter your age, seeing your provider for annual wellness exams gives your a snapshot of your current health and recommendations for improvement.

“A physical exam and blood work give us valuable information about your health,” Dr. Hatfield said. “The exam is also the time we can have conversations about good health, including diet, alcohol and tobacco use. We may also discuss ways to build good habits, as well as update vaccinations, which are exceedingly important.”

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