There's A Lot You Can Do To Stay Healthy
Visit Your Doctor
Men are notorious for putting off visits to the doctor or other primary care provider.
"I see way too many men who only come in after they've noticed something wrong," says Dr. Kara Taggart, a St. Luke's urologist. "But we want to see them when they're well so we can establish a baseline, catch things early, and shorten the gap of life expectancy between men and women."
Get Regular Exams And Tests
Talk with your doctor about which tests you may need, especially if you have a family history. All men should get the following:
- Full check-up: Yearly
- Skin self-exam: Monthly, starting in childhood
- Skin clinical exam: Yearly
- Testicular self-exam: Monthly, beginning at age 15
- Blood pressure: Every 6 months if your pressure is normal, beginning at age 18. If your pressure is higher than 120/80, check more often.
- Cholesterol: Every 2 years after age 35, and every year over 50. Begin screening at 20 if you're at increased risk for heart disease.
- Blood glucose: Every 3 years after 45. Start testing earlier if you have high blood pressure.
- Prostate: Talk to your doctor after age 40.
- Colonoscopy: Every 10 years after age 50. Talk to your doctor about starting early if you have a family history of colon cancer.
Watch For Signs Of Serious Issues
- Change in bowel or bladder habits
- Change in erections
- Persistent backache
- Changes in urine or stool color
- Changes in warts or moles
- Recurrent chest pain or headache
- Bleeding that won't stop
- Nagging cough
- Unexplained weight loss
- Extreme fatigue
Change Your Behaviors
- Quit using tobacco
- Have your skin checked, especially your back
- Improve your diet:
- Low saturated fats
- Low sugar
- High fiber
- Get more exercise