Have you been avoiding essential health screenings like colonoscopies or routine blood tests during the pandemic? Don’t push these essential tests to the side! It is perfectly safe to visit your doctor and continue monitoring your health with regular screenings, including:
- Colonoscopies. Did you know that adults are being diagnosed with colon cancer at younger ages than ever before? However, approximately 60% of deaths caused by colon cancer can be prevented with early screenings. Colonoscopies are a quick, non-surgical procedure with minimal preparation — and only take about 20 minutes! Plus, if it comes back clean, you won’t have to worry about it for another 10 years.
- Cholesterol. Get a blood test to check your cholesterol levels. This test is simple and becomes increasingly important to check as you age. You might be thinking it's something to worry about in the future, but checking your cholesterol is important to do even in your 20's.
- Weight. Monitor your weight and set up a health plan with your doctor if it becomes too difficult to manage on your own. As obesity greatly contributes to heart disease (the leading cause of death among adults), this is an important screening.
- Prostate exams. Prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer among men. It's typically recommended that men get screened for prostate cancer starting at age 50, but if you have a family history, talk to your doctor about getting screened earlier.
- Blood pressure. Since high blood pressure is closely linked to future health complications such as stroke and heart attack, make sure to schedule a routine check up to ensure yours is within a normal range.
- Depression. About 30% of men will experience depression in their lifetime. Be honest with your doctor and closely evaluate and monitor your mental health. You are not alone!
Although only a few screenings are listed here, there are other critical tests to pursue. Perhaps you’ve been hesitant to schedule an appointment with your doctor due to fear about COVID-19. Rest assured that it is safe to visit your doctor — especially with the recent rollout of vaccines. El Camino Health offers virtual appointments when appropriate for your needs, and takes every measure to ensure your health and safety in the office.
If you haven't had a check-up in the past year, don't wait. El Camino Health offers a vast array of services and specialized programs solely dedicated to men's health. To learn more, call 408-866-7331.
This article first appeared in the June 2021 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.