Men's Health Overview
Best Health Screenings for Men Over 50
As we get older, it’s crucial to monitor our health. Even though we may not have any symptoms of an illness, a screening test can catch a small problem before it becomes a big one. ThirdAge has already published an article on recommended screenings for women over 50. (http://thirdage.com/article/most-recommended-screenings-women-50-and-above).
Here, from the experts at SeniorHealth, a division of the National Institutes of Health, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, is a list of tests men should seriously consider taking:
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Ask your health care team about this test, which detects a bulging in the abdominal aorta, your largest artery. According to the SeniorHealth experts, you should consider this test if you’re between the ages of 65 and 75 and have ever smoked 100 cigarettes or more in your lifetime. In a worst-case scenario, an AAA can burst, causing dangerous bleeding and death.
The test is performed via ultrasound, a procedure in which a technician slides a medical device you’re your abdomen. To learn more, visit this link: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003777.htm
Men who are 75 or younger should get a screening test for colorectal cancer, the SeniorHealth experts say. There are a few different ways to do this – for example, a blood test or a colonoscopy. Ask you health care providers which test is best for you. This link will tell you more about the different types of colon cancer screenings: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002071.htm. If you are between 76 and 85, ask whether you should be screened.
If you’ve had persistent feelings, over a period of time, of sadness or hopelessness; or find you have little interest or pleasure in activities, you need to talk to your doctor. You could be suffering from depression, and your emotional health is as important as your physical health. Visit this link to learn more about depression and older adults: http://nihseniorhealth.gov/depression/aboutdepression/01.html.
A common and extremely serious illness, diabetes can cause problems with vital organs including your heart, eyes and kidneys. See what testing for diabetes involves: http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/diagnosis/index.aspx#3.
Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)
The SeniorHealth experts recommend a one-time screening for HCV infection if you were born between 1945 and 1965; have ever injected drugs or are doing so now; or eceived a blood transfusion before 1992. Here’s what a hepatitis C test involves: http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/pdfs/hepctesting-diagnosis.pdf.
High Blood Cholesterol
You should have your blood cholesterol checked regularly. High blood cholesterol levels increase your risk of heart disease and stroke, the SeniorHealth experts say. Here’s what a test involves: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hbc/diagnosis.
High Blood Pressure