Staying healthy is the key to a successful life for everyone. While there are many things you could do for your health, you may not know what to do first. In honor of June being Men’s Health Month, below are five simple health checks every man should do.
Get an annual physical
Getting a physical examination from your doctor is very important as you may have an underlying disease or illness you may not even know about. As you get older, your doctor may examine areas of your body that may be uncomfortable such as your prostate and genitalia. The better shape you are in, the quicker your examination will go. The more frequently you get a physical, you can be on top of any sight changes in your BMI, so if it raises at all since your last visit, you can change your lifestyle before it gets worse.
See your urologist
While it is very rare, affecting only 20,000 people per year according to the Mayo Clinic, testicular cancer is no laughing matter. Testing for testicular cancer is very simple; your doctor will check for any growths on your testicles and run some blood work or scans. While the causes of testicular cancer are unknown, the survival rate is still pretty high. However, that’s if cancer hasn’t spread to another part of your body. Another reason to see a urologist is because of prostate cancer, which can turn into colon cancer. The issue with prostate cancer is that the symptoms can either be unnoticeable. Tests for prostate and colon cancer are similar so one trip to the urologist can make a huge difference.
Get tested for skin cancer
Getting tested for skin cancer is as simple as a checkup by your dermatologist. During the examination, the doctor will check the size of any moles or lesions you may have on your body, check your lymph nodes. Typically, any signs of skin cancer will form around the age 50 but can be from large amounts of sun exposure from years earlier. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, affecting over one million people in the U.S. alone. Even if you have existing moles on your body you were born with can develop into skin cancer. As always, wear sunscreen and protective clothing when outdoors in the heat for prolonged periods of time.
Check your testosterone levels
This test can affect not only you but also the people closest to you. Low testosterone levels can cause fatigue, agitation, loss of sex drive, stress, weight loss and severe depression. Low testosterone levels can cause a man to develop irritable male syndrome. Fortunately, testosterone levels can be measured by having your blood taken. Healthy testosterone levels can be achieved again by weightlifting, anti-depressants, exercise and a change of diets such as less sugar intake and more protein.
Visit your cardiologist
Affecting more than three million people per-year, coronary heart disease is the most common cause of death in the United States and is more common in men. In 2013, one in every four men will die from heart disease, according to the CDC. Coronary heart disease is caused by plaque build-up, which hardens which then clogs your arteries, preventing blood flow causing a heart attack. Smoking, stress, high sugar levels, fatty foods and high blood pressure cause coronary heart disease. Unfortunately, plaque build-up cannot completely go away on by itself. Usually, cardiologists will perform a bypass surgery, which removes the plaque build-up.