Recommended Health Screenings for Men in Their 50s
Taking care of our health means being proactive. We try to eat a good diet, exercise as much as possible, and take preventive measures to keep from getting sick. Once we turn 50, though, we should add health screenings to the list to stay ahead of any possible developing health problems.
Many men skip their annual checkups, so they might miss their health screenings. Harvard Health says that “nearly one-fifth of men ages 55 and over said they had never undergone screening for colon cancer, and almost 30 percent said they ‘wait as long as possible’ to seek medical attention when they are feeling sick or in pain.”
These recommended health screenings for men in their 50s are from sources such as Harvard Health1, John Hopkins Medicine2, and the National Cancer Institute3.
Men between the ages of 55 and 75 should get regular colorectal screenings. Your doctor should be consulted because there are a number of options available. This could include checking a stool sample for blood every year, a flexible sigmoidoscopy that checks the lower colon every five years, or a colonoscopy every 10 years.
Prostate Cancer Screening
There is some debate over who should get the prostate-specific antigen test that measures the level of PSA in the blood. This test was originally given to men who had prostate cancer to check the progression of the disease. It was then recommended as a screening test for men 50+ to detect prostate cancer early.Although elevated PSA levels may mean that cancer is present, it may also have other causes. The National Cancer Institute says that medical organizations have started to caution against screening for prostate cancer routinely, because the pros and cons are not clearly understood. You should talk to your doctor before being tested.
For those who are at risk for certain diseases, getting regular tests is important. Men and women who are between 55-80 years old and smoke, or who quit within the last 15 years, should receive a lung cancer screening every year.
Those who are at risk for osteoporosis, have a history of corticosteroid use, smoke regularly, or have rheumatoid arthritis should have bone scans completed regularly.
Your skin should be checked every three months for skin cancer and any worrisome lesions that may exist. Your primary doctor will also monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol on your annual wellness visit.
Make sure to talk to your doctor about tests and screenings that are due when you have your next visit.
In addition to eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and getting regular health screenings, we recommend taking a multivitamin, such as our NATURELO Daily Multivitamin for Men 50+.