Taking charge of your health is a responsibility that should never be overlooked, regardless of your gender. However, men, including African-American men, often tend to neglect regular health checkups, which can result in late detection and treatment of potential health problems.
To help men, especially African American men, prioritize their wellness, Black Health Matters introduces the Men’s Health Checklist. While it’s important for every individual to be aware of their family history and personal issues, this comprehensive guide outlines the essential exams and exams men should consider at different stages of life, ensuring proactive health monitoring and better life quality.
In your 20s:
- Annual Physical Exam: Get in the habit of scheduling an annual checkup with your primary care doctor. This will allow them to assess your overall health, review your family medical history, and establish a baseline for future comparisons.
- sexual health: If you’re sexually active, it’s important to get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) once a year or more often depending on your sexual behavior. Openly discuss safe sexual practices and any concerns you may have with your doctor.
- Skin check: Regularly examine your skin for new or changing moles and other skin abnormalities. If you notice any worrisome changes, seek the advice of a dermatologist.
- Blood pressure: African-American men, in particular, are at increased risk of hypertension. Have your blood pressure checked at least once every two years. If you have a family history of high blood pressure or other risk factors, consider more frequent monitoring to anticipate any potential problems.
- Cholesterol levels: From the age of 35, it is advisable to control cholesterol levels every five years. African-American men tend to have higher cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of heart disease. If you have risk factors such as obesity, diabetes, or smoking, see your doctor for earlier and regular screening.
- testicle exam: Perform monthly self-exams to detect any lumps or abnormalities in the testicles. If you notice anything unusual, see a health professional.
- Prostate Health: African-American men are at increased risk of prostate cancer and tend to develop it at a younger age. Participate in a discussion with your doctor about prostate cancer screening, usually through a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. He considers starting the conversations earlier, around age 45, to stay proactive in managing his health.
- Diabetes Screening: African-American men are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Consider getting screened for diabetes every three years, especially if you have risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, or a sedentary lifestyle.
- Colon cancer screening: African-American men starting at age 45 should discuss the various screening options available for colon cancer, including colonoscopy or stool tests, with their doctor. Regular screening exams can help find early signs of colorectal cancer.
In your 50s and beyond:
- abdominal aortic aneurysm Screening (AAA) exam: If you are between the ages of 65 and 75 and have ever smoked or have a family history of AAA, including African-American men, it is important to consider a one-time ultrasound exam to assess the health of the abdomen. aorta.
- Bone density test: African-American men are at higher risk of developing osteoporosis and fractures. Discuss a bone density test with your doctor, especially if you have risk factors. This discussion is especially crucial for men over the age of 65.
- Vision test: African-American men are at higher risk of developing glaucoma and other vision-related problems. As you get older, regular eye exams become essential. Schedule comprehensive eye exams at least every two years or as recommended by your ophthalmologist.
Taking proactive steps to maintain good health is extremely important for men of all ages, especially African-American men. The Men’s Health Checklist serves as a valuable reminder, outlining crucial checks at various stages of life.
By prioritizing regular screenings and exams along with adopting a healthy lifestyle, you can identify potential health issues early on and contribute significantly to a healthier, happier life. Remember, investing in your health today will pave the way for a brighter tomorrow.