So your busy, fit and in good health, never have to see the GP because you just don’t get sick that often. That means you are healthy right? Odds are you are right.. However, as we move away from the thirties and into the mid-forties and onwards it is important to get checked out. Why? Because the cure is better than the disease, it’s that simple. Getting to know your GP and getting advice can help identify any under lying health problems early. These types of health issues you really do want to know about sooner rather than later. Read on to see what is involved in getting your ‘Man Check’.
The purpose of these visits is to:
Screen for medical issues
Assess your risk for future medical problems
Encourage a healthy lifestyle
Help you get to know your GP in case of an illness
There are specific times when you should see your GP. Below are screening guidelines for men aged 40 to 64:
BLOOD PRESSURE SCREENING
If you are aged under 40 years, your blood pressure is normal, and there is no family history of high blood pressure, then have your blood pressure checked every year.
If you are over 40, your blood pressure is on the high side or you have a personal or family history of high blood pressure, stroke or heart attack then have it checked every six months.
If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to have your blood pressure checked more often.
CHOLESTEROL SCREENING AND HEART DISEASE PREVENTION
If you’re over 45, you should have blood tests each year.
If you’re at high risk of cardiovascular disease and have a family history, you should be tested every year from the age of 40.
If you have a high cholesterol level, diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to be checked more often.
This testing will check cholesterol levels and blood triglycerides, among other things. High levels may indicate an increased risk of various health problems including heart disease.
This is a non-invasive and painless medical test that detects cardiac (heart) abnormalities by measuring the electrical activity generated by the heart as it contracts. If you are aged over 50 years, your doctor may recommend an ECG test every two years (along with blood tests & blood pressure checked), depending on your health and family medical history.
If you are age 45 or older, you should be screened every year.
If you are overweight, ask your GP if you should be screened at a younger age.
If your blood pressure is above 135/80 mm Hg, or you have other risk factors for diabetes, your healthcare provider may test your blood sugar level for diabetes.
COLON CANCER SCREENING
If you’re over 50, you should have this test once every two years. If you have a close family history (mother, father, sister, brother) you should have this test after you turn 40.
Men at high risk of bowel cancer may need a colonoscopy every five years or sooner depending on their history. This is done under a light general anaesthetic.
You should get a flu shot once a year. You will be able to book in your flu vaccination at one of our practices from mid-April.
Your GP may recommend other vaccinations if you have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes.
You should have a tetanus-diphtheria booster vaccination every 10 years. If you have not received a tetanus-diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine as one of your tetanus-diphtheria vaccines, you should have it once. In most cases this is generally this is not needed after 50.
You may get a shingles or herpes zoster vaccination once after age 60. If you are aged between 70-79 you are eligible to receive a FREE shingles vaccination, please ask our reception team to book in your appointment.
SKIN CANCER CHECK
With sun as harsh as it is in Australia, an annual skin check-up is recommended. If you spot something unusual in between these checks then please see your doctor.
You should also regularly check your skin yourself for unusual moles or freckles. See your doctor if you notice anything unusual. Men at high risk (for example, those who work outdoors) need regular examinations by their doctor.
PROSTATE CANCER SCREENING
Most men aged 50 or older should discuss screening for prostate cancer with their GP. If you have a history or any issues in this area, then you should discuss screening earlier.
From puberty, onwards, you should check yourself at home regularly for unusual thickenings or lumps in the testicles. See your doctor if you are concerned.
If you are between ages 50 to 70 and have risk factors for osteoporosis, you should discuss screening with your GP.
Risk factors can include long-term steroid use, low body weight, smoking, heavy alcohol use, having a fracture after age 50, or a family history of osteoporosis. Advancing age is an also a significant risk factor. A bone density test helps to determine the health of your bones and is ideal for early detection of osteoporosis, ask your GP for more information.
What to expect at your health check
When you have a health check, your doctor will talk to you about your medical history, your family’s history of disease and your lifestyle. Your diet, weight, how much you exercise and whether you smoke will also be discussed.
Men should have regular health checks. See your doctor for regular medical check-ups to help you stay healthy and to pick up early warning signs of disease or illness. Cardiovascular (heart) disease, diabetes and some cancers can often be picked up in their early stages, when treatment may be more successful.
With a commitment to providing ‘high quality health care’ to our patients, our practices have a male and female GPs, as well as qualified nursing staff to cater to all our patients needs and requirements.
Book an appointment today at one of our practices located in the Wyong Shire of the Central Coast. Mariners Medical, Tuggerah Medical Centre, Warnervale GP Super Clinic and Toukley Family Practice will help you keep on top of your health and vitality.