What Does a Men’s Health Exam Typically Include?
We get it. Staying on top of annual physicals can feel like a pain. Men are especially notorious for putting off annual physicals that can shed important insights into overall health. Simple medical exams can detect serious illnesses early on and help ensure a long and healthy life.
In addition to heart problems, men are more likely to develop certain cancers later in life that could be treated before they get out of hand.
So, what does a men’s health exam typically include? Learn more from our team at Impact Medical Zephyrhills.
Health Exams for Men
When you schedule a men’s wellness exam or health screening, it might include the following:
#1. Blood Pressure
Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm. When medical providers test for blood pressure, they often use an inflatable arm cuff monitor.
These arm cuffs measure:
- Systolic pressure: the pressure of your contracting heart to pump blood
- Diastolic pressure: the pressure between beats as your heart relaxes
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, can lead to a host of problems including heart attack and stroke. Therefore, we recommend having your blood pressure tested at least once a year.
#2. Heart Rate, Respiration Rate, Temperature & Body Mass Index
The next tests are just as important for women as they are for men. These key annual wellness exams can help detect the onset of heart problems.
Here is a quick overview of these tests:
- Heart rate: a medical provider uses a stethoscope to determine your heartbeat. Between 60-100 is considered normal.
- Respiration rate: Typically, 12-16 breaths a minute is normal, whereas 20+ breaths might indicate heart or lung issues.
- Temperature: A thermometer is used to measure your temperature. 98.6 is normal but can be slightly higher or lower.
- Body Mass Index (BMI): Taking your height, weight, and build into consideration, your health provider will determine if you are not at a healthy weight with the BMI scale. BMI is not 100% accurate as a person with more muscle mass might have a higher BMI.
#3. Blood Glucose Testing
Men 40 and older who are obese or overweight should have their blood sugar levels tested regularly. This is due to the increased risk of heart disease that is associated with poor diet and obesity.
Abnormal blood sugar can indicate a higher risk for type 2 diabetes as this test shows that your body may not be breaking down and utilizing sugar as it should.
#4. Cholesterol Screening
Starting at around 20 years old, we recommend that men have their cholesterol levels examined every 5 years. There are two kinds of cholesterol:
- HDL (high-density lipoproteins)
- LDL (low-density lipoproteins)
HDL is considered the “good” kind while LDL is the “bad” kind of cholesterol.
Cholesterol is examined via a blood test. Healthy cholesterol measures under 200 mg/dl. Certain factors like smoking, diabetes, and a 30+ body mass index mean that a person should have their cholesterol tested more often than the recommended 5 years.
Also, if a patient has a family history of high cholesterol, they should be tested more often.
#5. Testicular Cancer Screening
During your annual health exam, be sure to have a testicular cancer screening. Although self-exams can be extremely helpful in catching cancer, it is also very important to be examined by a medical professional.
Men of any age can develop testicular cancer, although half of all cases are men between the ages of 20 and 34.
Most doctors will also recommend a monthly self-exam. When you are in a warm shower, feel your testicles for lumps. Typically, these lumps will be painless, but significant swelling in one testicle may also indicate the onset of testicular cancer.
#6. Prostate Cancer Screening
The only way to know for sure if you have prostate cancer is through a biopsy. However, two tests can help providers determine if a person is at high risk of prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer screenings should begin around 50, though men with a family history of prostate cancer should start screening around 40.
Two main tests that are considered risk assessment tests for prostate cancer include:
- PSA Test: Checks for antigen levels in the blood.
- Manual test: In this exam, a provider will insert a gloved finger into the rectum to feel for irregularities.
#7. Colon Cancer Screening
Colorectal cancer screenings should begin between the ages of 40 and 50. A colonoscopy is painless and only takes around 15-20 minutes and can oftentimes catch colon cancer in an early treatable stage.
#8. Skin Cancer Screening
Men are more than twice as likely to develop melanoma as women by the age of 65. We recommend an annual examination by a dermatologist to screen for skin cancer.
#9. STD Screening & Preventative Care
If you are a sexually active male, getting tested for STDs is one of the most important health screenings that you can get.
Don’t Forgo Your Annual Physical Exam
Prevention is the key to aging healthily. All it takes to catch the onset of a serious illness or disease is an annual health screening and wellness exam. Make sure to make an appointment at Impact Medical Zephyrhills for your annual health exam today.
Call us at (813) 706-5156 today!