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Men's Health - what can you screen for?

As we age, it may take some time to acknowledge that we are not invincible when it comes to our health. This is particularly true if you have been delaying essential check-ups or adopting a laissez-faire attitude towards any symptoms you may be experiencing. Nonetheless, it is important to consider certain health screenings with each passing year in order to identify any potential issues before they become more serious.

So what are some of the conditions you can screen for?

Prostate cancer -  the most common cancer in men in the UK, particularly in those over the age of 50. The PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test can help detect prostate cancer at an early stage, often before symptoms appear. Early detection can lead to more effective treatment options and a better chance of successful outcomes. However, many other conditions can cause a raised PSA, so it is not a fail-safe diagnostic test, and it is best to discuss the pros and cons of the test with your doctor.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a significant health concern for men in the UK and is the leading cause of death. Some of the risk factors are not modifiable such as age, family history. But many of the risk factors are modifiable including, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity, poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption, stress.  Screening can look for risks you may not be aware of and help assess your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Bowel cancer - Over 90% of bowel cancers can be treated successfully if they are found early, however that happens in fewer than 50% of cases. Your risk of bowel cancer increases as you get older and the NHS bowel cancer screening programme is available to everyone aged 60 to 74 years old.  Many people would prefer to have bowel cancer screening tests at a younger age, particularly if there is a family history of bowel cancer.

Type 2 diabetes - Strong evidence shows that type 2 diabetes can be prevented in most people who are identified as being pre-diabetic by losing weight, eating well and exercising.

Screening blood tests are critical for catching the issue early.

Sexual health - It’s a good idea for anyone who is sexually active to have regular sexual health checks, but especially when you change sexual partners, you’ve had unsafe sex, your partner has recently had a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or you think you might have an STI. Not all STIs have obvious symptoms so there’s a chance you, or your sexual partner, could have one without knowing it. STIs can also have serious long-term complications if they go untreated so it’s well worth getting over any awkwardness you might feel. Tests are quick, easy, discrete and confidential.

Do get in touch if you’d like to book a specific test or a general health screen with one of our doctors.

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