Would you drive your car for two years without checking the oil? Some men wait more than two years between physician visits. Would you put off updating your smart phone until it stopped working? Many men endure symptoms until severe pain finally drives them to seek treatment. Most men recognize the importance of regular maintenance checks and timely repairs for keeping autos, appliances, electronics and mechanical systems in good working order, but many shy away from regular doctor visits and routine health screenings.
A recent study by Chattem, Inc. and the Men’s Health Network shows that men are now putting aside their old attitudes and embracing a more proactive approach to their health.
Screenings Detect Treatable Problems Early
Annual exams and screenings are the best ways to detect chronic conditions and diseases early, when treatment and lifestyle changes can make the biggest difference. As part of a proactive men’s health plan, doctors recommend a physical examination every two years, starting at age 40, and an annual exam after men turn 50. In addition, a proactive health plan for men should include regularly scheduled tests like these:
- Blood test
- PSA screening
- Colorectal screening
The frequency of these tests depends on age, family history and lifestyle, factors that should be discussed with your physician. These tests screen for serious conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, colon and prostate cancers that can be detected in early stages when treatment is most effective.
Talk About Health Concerns With Your Doctor
Men who have concerns about their health can also be proactive by voicing those concerns to their physicians. Many men still view illness as something to be kept under wraps, and they may avoid talking about problems until they become a crisis. Today, your clinical team has effective therapies for common male health worries like these:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Substance abuse
- Depression or anxiety
- Issues with aging
The proactive and practical way for men to deal with these concerns is by having an honest talk with a trusted doctor. Your physician can share a variety of diagnostic and educational resources to address nearly any concern you may have about your overall health, sexual performance or mental health status.
Determine Your Prostate Cancer Risk With the 4Kscore Test
Regular PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) screening can save lives by alerting men and their doctors to the possibility of prostate cancer. However, an abnormal PSA reading can also result from other noncancerous conditions such as an enlarged prostate, prostatitis or a urinary tract infection. Now, men taking a proactive approach to their health can ask their doctors for the 4Kscore Test, a simple blood test that accurately predicts the risk for aggressive prostate cancer and distinguishes between aggressive and indolent prostate cancer before biopsy. Indolent prostate cancer is not life threatening and generally requires watchful surveillance rather than biopsy and treatment. The accuracy of the 4Kscore test allows men with abnormal PSA readings to avoid biopsies that may not be necessary and their side effects.
The 4Kscore Test measures four prostate proteins and analyzes those readings with other patient-specific data to determine a man’s risk for aggressive prostate cancer. Two major studies have confirmed the accuracy of the test in all men, including African American men and men at higher risk due to a family history of prostate cancer. If you are a man facing biopsy after an abnormal PSA screening, be proactive and ask your doctor for the 4Kscore Test before proceeding with biopsy.