Okay guys… it’s not always easy to talk about health stuff. A lot of times, “toughing it out” can be tempting — rather than visit the doctor and go through a lot of weird tests. But regular screenings can help catch bad stuff early… and the earlier you catch stuff, the easier it can be to treat.
If your doctor is anything like my doctor, you probably get your blood pressure checked every time you visit the office. If not, you should probably get your blood pressure checked every other year or so. There can be a couple different causes for blood pressure fluctuations, like stress and disease.
Cholesterol levels are a big health concern. Experts suggest a cholesterol check every five years or so once you hit your twenties.
Eye exams should be done every three to five years for folks who don’t have any problems. If you do have vision trouble, you may need to see the eye doc every year or every other year. If you have high risk factors for eye problems — like diabetes or high blood pressure — you should be seen once a year or as directed by your eye doctor.
Colorectal cancer screenings should start at age fifty — sooner if you have risk factors. It’s not fun, but is necessary. Prostate screenings are also a possibility after age fifty, depending on your risk factors (like a family history of prostate cancer).
Some screenings you can do on your own, like a skin exam or a testicle exam. For the skin exam, look for changes in existing skin — for example, a mole that has grown larger or an asymmetrical mole. For the scrotum exam, look for lumps, swelling, and other irregularities. If you find anything unusual on either self-examination, it’s worth talking to your doctor. The American Cancer Society suggests that in both cases, you have an “official” exam with your doctor every three years — more often if you have certain risk factors.