Three Medical Tests Every Man Should Have

Routine maintenance, like checking the oil and tire pressure, can keep a man's car running smoothly. The same concept applies to his body. Specific medical screening tests for men can help them to stay on top of their health. Medical tests can screen for diseases and determine risks for problems that may develop down the road. Beyond medical tests, it is a good idea to take men's health supplements as you get older. Here are three medical tests every man should have.

Digital Rectal Exam
While a gloved finger into the rectum is a test that men understandably dread, this is 20 seconds that can save a life. Basically, this test examines organs in the pelvis and lower abdomen, specifically the prostate. Men should get a baseline test in their 20s to determine if the prostate later changes in size. While the prostate can become enlarged as men age, this test can help to determine what is causing the growth and help chart a course for treatment.

Fecal Occult Blood Test
More males than females develop colorectal cancer with over 50,000 men diagnosed with the disease each year. Because colon cancer can progress within a period of five to ten years, this is an inexpensive and painless test to have in between colonoscopy procedures.

The fecal occult blood test involves sending a stool sample off to a lab for analysis. The lab looks for blood within the stool that is typically unnoticeable to the naked eye. While blood can occur within a stool for a number of reasons, it is important to quickly detect it and track down the cause. Blood in the stool can be the result of colon cancer, but it can also be caused by polyps, hemorrhoids, peptic ulcers or intestinal conditions like Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.

Fortunately, this test can be performed at home with a kit available from most pharmacies. The results are taken into a medical provider to be shipped for analysis. Most experts recommend that men begin having this test at age 50 or earlier if there are intestinal concerns.

Beck Depression Inventory
Rates of depression among men and women appear to be climbing. Because depression is linked to a variety of health issues for men, this is an important test that can be completed in minutes. The BDI is a survey of 21 questions that analyzes interest levels in life activities and sex and examines feelings like guilt, sadness and irritability. Basically it provides a baseline for current mental health and gives a doctor the ability to suggest treatment options.

To keep their engine properly running, men should eat a nutritious diet and get plenty of exercise. As men age, they sometimes need extra help beyond just a healthy diet in order to maintain optimum health. There are many men's health vitamins and supplements on the market today that are designed to support the aging male body. 
They should also have regular physical exams and appropriate medical tests like the three recommended above. Other tests needed are determined by age, family history and whether or not men are at risks for specific diseases.


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