Crucial Medical Tests For Men After 40

While June may mean vacations and being outside, it’s also Men’s Health Month; it’s a time to really think about ways to take care of yourself. While the health market is flooded with new trends and products that promise you good health, one of the best ways to make sure that you’re taking care of your body is to schedule all the health exams that get more important as you get older. Here are some of the essential tests that men should take time to schedule to make sure their well-being is their first priority. 

Annual Physical Exams 

An annual physical exam is step one to letting both you and your doctor know if everything is working as intended in your body. Here, your doctor can flag any potential problems early if they arise and schedule you for further exams with a specialist. It’s also a chance to share your mental health struggles with a professional healthcare provider who can point you in the right direction to seek help. 

Diabetes Tests  

Over 34 million Americans live with type 2 diabetes, and our chances of developing the disease only increase as we get older. Diabetes, which comes in multiple forms, can cause damage to the eyes, kidneys, and blood vessels while increasing the risk of suffering a stroke or a heart attack. It’s important to be mindful of your blood sugar levels, and scheduling blood tests, such as an A1C test, every three years is a helpful way to monitor your risk of developing the condition. 

Colorectal and Colon Cancer Screening

Colon cancer can go undetected for years, with the majority of people who develop the disease being over the age of 50. Symptoms such as constipation, prolonged cramps in the abdomen and sudden weight loss can present bigger dangers to those with colorectal cancer, but others can be completely asymptomatic. Scheduling a colon cancer screening with your healthcare team can help catch any potential signs of cancer early for effective treatment. 

Prostate Cancer Exam

While testosterone is a natural and important hormone in the body, over time, it can cause the rapid growth of cancerous cells in the prostate. Prostate cancer is common worldwide, with research finding that one in seven men will develop the illness over their lifetime. Doctors recommend scheduling a Prostate-Specific Antigen, or PSA, test after age 55 to make sure signs of cancer aren’t dismissed for a different problem. Talking with your healthcare team can ensure that you’ll be able to come up with a screening plan that you’re comfortable with. 

Cholesterol Levels Test 

Our cholesterol levels naturally increase as we get older, but too much cholesterol can pose serious risks to our overall health. Nearly 70 million Americans have high cholesterol levels, which can trigger severe emergencies such as a heart attack or a stroke and cause clogged arteries. If you have a family history of high cholesterol levels, you should talk to your doctor, who can prescribe medications to help you manage your cholesterol levels. You can also check your cholesterol levels with at-home tests. 

Blood Pressure Exam 

Sometimes called the “silent killer,” hypertension is a common yet highly dangerous condition that many adults have in the United States without even knowing it. High blood pressure causes symptoms like nausea, dizziness and an irregular heartbeat while increasing the risk of emergencies like heart and kidney failure. An annual blood pressure exam can help monitor your blood pressure measurements, although doctors recommend Black or overweight patients go more frequently. You could also perform quick checks in between visits using machines typically found at grocery stores or pharmacies. 

Updated: June 26, 2024 — 3:02 pm