New research shows that from colon and prostate cancer to heart disease, there are difficult health concerns men need to take seriously even when they are still at a young age. Dr. Steven Lamm, who is the medical director at the Center for Men's Health at NYU Langone Medical Center, commented on the research.
Dr. Lamm emphasized the fact that men need to take responsibility of their health earlier in life.
How should they do this?
He suggests that men establish a relationship with a primary care doctor when they are still young and healthy. Research shows that young men who are healthy will usually avoid their annual physical or put it off for as long as they can.
Many people actually do not realize that there is a higher chance of men getting certain cancers at a younger age. Dr. Lamm said,
“Unfortunately we know there is a higher risk of testicular cancer in your twenties and thirties. While testicular cancer rates aren't high overall, every man who pays an annual visit to their doctor should receive a testicular exam, which involves a doctor feeling for any usual lumps or bump in the testes. But medical imaging test aren't necessary unless a patient reports a suspicious change or the physician feels something unusual.”
Experts say the annual check up is extremely important; there the doctor can also take a patient's baseline numbers for blood pressure and cholesterol. And they can guarantee immunizations are up-to-date, and decipher which routine medical tests are mandatory and when they need to be taken.
Researchers are saying it is also important to pay close attention to baseline numbers in order to have a close watch on cardiovascular health, since heart disease is the leading cause of death in men living in the United States. Experts are saying any annual wellness visit should include a measure of weight, blood pressure, blood sugar levels and cholesterol.
“Many patients worry about their prostate cancer risk, which is the most common cancer among men after skin cancer. But while a rectal exam to detect prostate abnormalities typically is a part of a man's physical, the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test is not recommended for routine prostate cancer screening. This is because patients who do not have prostate cancer may still have elevated levels of this specific enzyme in the blood, leading to other invasive, and often unnecessary, tests. So doctors often are prudent when deciding which patients should have a PSA. However, some doctors recommend all male patients have a baseline PSA test at age 40,” according to CBS news.
Experts are suggesting that patients should know the recommended screening guidelines from organizations such as those given by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association. Researchers are saying they should then discuss a screening plan with their physician.