Doctors have reported that a much higher rate of adult women than men see them regularly for preventative reasons. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that 80 per cent of men are less likely to go to a doctor; half between the ages of 18 and 50 don’t even have a regular source of health care to turn to. Health professionals say this is concerning because there are certain tests all men need to take.
Why Aging Men Avoid Doctors
Although no one knows for certain, one popular theory among physicians is that many men believe that they are physically stronger than women and therefore don’t need the help. Others have suggested that men tend to take more risks than women. Research also indicates that some men feel that preventative health should only be a concern for the aging population but avoiding the doctor could be a fatal mistake.
The U.S based Health Partners Research Foundation conducted an in depth analysis of preventative health care services and determined that they could “avert the loss “of more than 2-million lives every year. The foundation has urged the nation to find ways to get people to use preventative health services more.
What Men Should Do To Fight the Anti-Aging Battle
Here is a look at some of the tests medical professionals insist men need to take. As you will see some of these tests can be related to aging; however, others should be considered by young men and as an anti-aging tool.
About 50 million people in the United States have high blood pressure. It is something that can damage your arteries, heart, and other organs. If untreated, it can lead to heart attack, stroke, vision problems, kidney damage, and fluid in the lungs. A blood pressure test is very simple. A doctor just puts a pressure cuff around your arm and air is pumped into it via a hand pump. The doctor listens to your pulse while the air is being released and the blood pressure measurements are shown in 2 numbers, systolic (when pulse is first heard) and diastolic (when pulse is no longer heard).
High blood pressure has always been associated with aging but can also be a sign of poor diet, lack of exercise, high alcohol and drug use, as well as hyperthyroidism at any age. Research shows as many as one in five young Americans may have high blood pressure.
People who do get their blood pressure checked usually have their cholesterol tested as well. Seventy- one million Americans have high cholesterol. The National Cholesterol Education Program suggests that all adults have their cholesterol checked every 5 years. High cholesterol causes restricted blood flow and can lead to heart attack or stroke. Cholesterol levels are tested through blood tests. Many people in their 20’s and 30’s are known to have high cholesterol just as middle aged and older adults are. These young people are opening themselves up to age related diseases as a result.
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Medical organizations have mixed opinions on prostate testing. For many years doctors encouraged all their aging patients to get tested; however, today some professional agencies have specific recommendations while others say it should be left up to each patient’s doctor. Prostate cancer screening includes a prostate-specific antigen or PSA test. The organizations that recommend a PSA say the test should be done between the ages of 40 and 70; earlier if there is a history of cancer in the family. Physicians like to remind patients that early detection of prostate cancer gives them a chance of full recovery. The PSA is also a blood test.
Not the Only Aging Concern for Men
Prostate cancer is not the only cancer concern for men. Colon cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in men. A study by researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York have discovered that removing precancerous polyps during colonoscopies can cut the risk of death from colon cancer by 53 per cent. A colonoscopy involves threading a tiny camera up through the rectum to view the colon. Little clippers can be put on the end of the device to remove any suspicious looking growths. Most medical organizations recommend men 50 or over get a colonoscopy.
There are other tests men may want to consider depending on their current health and family history. It makes sense for each individual decide with their doctor what is best. Health professionals say many risk factors leading to illness and premature death are preventable if people seek care and testing.