When it comes to men’s health there are a few medical tests every man should have by a certain age. Some health exams need to be performed often, like your cholesterol, while bone density tests do not need to be conducted until after the age of 65. So if you have been avoiding the doctor and putting off those medical tests and exams it’s time to make an appointment. Here are the common medicals tests every man should have and the age you should get them.
Cholesterol is a type of fatty protein in your blood that over time can build up in your arteries and can lead to big health issues. There are two kinds of cholesterol, high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and low-density lipoproteins (LDL). HDL is considered “good” cholesterol and LDL is considered “bad” cholesterol. When it comes to measuring your cholesterol both levels should be under is 220. This would be a “healthy” number to have with your cholesterol. When you get your cholesterol checked your triglycerides will be measured as well. Triglycerides are the fats in the blood that can also block arteries that number needs to be less than 150 milligrams per deciliter. Cholesterol is measured by a simple blood test.
When to start: Age 20
When you have your doctor check you for diabetes you will have you drink a sugary drink after a 9 hour fast and then your blood is checked. Your doctor will check your glucose levels to determine your risk for diabetes.
When to start: Typically age 45. However, if you have a risk in the family or are overweight, have high blood pressure or have other risk factors for diabetes, you may want to consider getting tested at a younger age.
Loss of bone strength is called osteoporosis. As we age, calcium begins to break down in the bones making them porous. A bone density test is performed by a special X-ray called a dual-energy X-ray (DXA) looks at your bones in a way a regular X-ray machine cannot.
When to start: Age 65.
90 percent of colorectal cancer is curable, as long as it is caught early. Unfortunately many men choose not go to the test. Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of death from cancer for men. Men with no family history of colorectal cancer can start getting screened at age 50. The test is done by examining your colon by a tiny scope and camera that is inserted through the rectum. You can choose to be a wake for the screening or you can be given anesthesia. As long as you don’t have a family history of colorectal cancer you only have to be examined every 10 years.
When to start: Age 50
Skin cancer screening
Skin cancer is the number-one diagnosed with Americans. Men are at a higher risk for skin cancer than women, which many men are not aware of. One of the deadly forms of skin cancer is melanoma. The important thing is to see your doctor regularly and point out any suspicious areas to your doctor. They can exam you and determine if it is something to be concerned about.
When to start: Any age
By 2020 more than 43 million Americans will have some type of degenerative eye disease. While that number is staggering, more than a third of adults do not get a regular eye exam. Yearly vision tests can detect eye diseases and prevent the disease from making your eye sight any worse. Some eye exams you should get regularly are glaucoma, macular degeneration, and retinopathy exams. These exams should be performed at least every three years, more often if you have a family history of any eye issues.
When to start: Age 18
By age 60 one in three adults has some form of hearing loss. Men are at a higher risk for all types of noise-induced hearing loss mostly because the test is voluntary and many men choose not to speak to their doctors.
When to start: When you or others notice you have a problem.
Your thyroid is very important in your overall health. The thyroid is a small gland in your neck that regulates your body’s metabolic rate. If your thyroid is too high you could suffer from lack of sleep, weight loss, and some heart issues. If you have a hypothyroid, that means your thyroid is underactive and your metabolism could slow, meaning weight gain. Men should consider checking their thyroid around the age of 35 unless you have a family history of thyroid issues, that an earlier check-up could be needed. Your thyroid levels are checked with a simple blood tests .
When to start: Age 35
Testicular cancer screening
With early detection a man’s chances of surviving testicular cancer is 90 percent. It is important to start testicular screenings around the age of 15. Your doctor will examine you for any hardened areas or lumps. Blood tests and ultrasounds can also check for signs of tumors to the area. It is important to check monthly for anything out of the ordinary.
When to start: Age 15
Prostate cancer screening
The prostate exam clearly is not a favorite with men. But prostate cancer affects one in six men. The exam can be performed by your doctor or with a blood test. However, many times with the blood test readings come back as false positive. When your doctor performs the exam he will insert a finger into the rectum to feel the prostate gland.
When to start: Age 50
Now you have the list of important health tests you should have if you are a man. So call up your doctor and make your doctor appointments, there is no time like the present! Your doctor may also suggest other exams to gauge health issues that may run in your family.
If you struggling with paying for doctor visits or concerned about covering you medical bills, a reverse mortgage could be the answer. A reverse mortgage is a financial tool that eliminates your current mortgage* and if you have any additional equity, you can access that money and receive it tax-free**. A reverse can give you the financial freedom you are looking for with your retirement.
Kristen Curzytek is a writer for the One Reverse Mortgage blog. One Reverse Mortgage is the largest retail reverse mortgage lender in America. Check out the One Reverse Mortgage calculator today to see how much you can qualify for.
*Homeowner is still responsible for taxes, insurance and property maintenance.
**Please consult with your financial advisor.