Men's Health: Let's talk man to man
Prevention is best
Giving your family the best of you starts with a healthy lifestyle. That means exercising regularly and following a balanced diet. But other factors, like genetics and stress, can also have a huge impact on your overall health.
That's why it's vital that you go for regular screening tests. They will allow your doctor to pick up any issues early on, so they can be treated immediately.
It's not always our idea of fun to hang out with the GP, but if you stick to a few easy tests every year, you can prevent problems down the road.
Which tests are best?
Begin with the basics like your Body Mass Index (BMI), blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol tests. You can visit your doctor or clinic for these to get the all clear. High blood pressure and high cholesterol can be very dangerous, so be sure to get checked every year.
The following screening tests are also very important:
- Prostate cancer: Did you know that SABMAS offers one prostate-specific antigen test per male beneficiary every 3 years? This check is important after you turn 50, or after 40 if you have a family history of prostate cancer. It may include a digital rectal exam and a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test.
- Testicular cancer: All men should have a testicular exam when seeing the doctor for a routine checkup. You can also do regular self-exams, checking for hard lumps, bumps or any changes in size and shape.
- Colon cancer: This is a check also recommended from the age of fifty, although as the recent death of actor Chadwick Boseman shows, more and more younger men are diagnosed annually. If you have a family history of colon cancer or have any concerns about your bowel health, see your doctor, who may recommend a colonoscopy. It is painless procedure and takes only about 15 minutes.
- HIV test: Take one every year and be sure of your status.
- Eye test: An annual test is recommended, and make sure you are checked for glaucoma as well, especially after you turn 40.
The SABMAS Benefit guide has more information on how screening tests are paid by the Scheme.
Men behaving badly?
It's okay to indulge now and again and enjoy life. Just make sure to keep a healthy balance between indulgence and taking care of yourself. Stick to a healthy diet, exercise and do your screening tests regularly, and you will be at your best for a long time to come. For you, and those around you.