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National survey finds women more likely to see doctor on regular basis than men

January 05, 2016

Everyone is busy and for many men the time going to a doctor can feel like a waste of a precious resource. Still, Vavra says going to the doctor is one of the best things a man can do for his family."A man may feel selfish or weak going to the doctor or caring for his health, but it makes a positive impact on the whole family. Kids look to their parents for examples of how to live. So lead by example. If you live a healthy life so will your kids," said Vavra.

Here are a few screenings every man should get:High blood pressure. Every man age 18 or older should have his blood pressure checked at least once a year.

Diabetes. Men with risk factors such as a family history of diabetes, being overweight or experiencing diabetic symptoms should be screened with a fasting blood test. This test measures the amount of a sugar called glucose in your blood. Normal is less than 100 milligrams per deciliter; 101 to 125 is pre diabetes and above 125 suggests diabetes.

Cholesterol. Men ages 20 to 35 who have cardiovascular disease risk factors such as diabetes should be screened. After age 35, men should be screened once every five years if normal, or more often if levels are borderline.

Colorectal cancer. Men should be screened beginning at age 50. The gold standard is a colonoscopy. A doctor uses a slender, lighted tube to examine the entire colon. A colonoscopy can find and remove precancerous growths called polyps. If a colonoscopy is normal, it's good for 10 years. Other screening exams include a yearly fecal occult blood test (which can find blood in the stool) or, every five years, a fecal blood test combined with an exam called a sigmoidoscopy, which examines the lower part of the colon.

Prostate cancer. Men ages 50 or older who have a life expectancy of at least 10 years should get annual PSA tests and digital rectal exams.

Source: Loyola University Health system