Many men, regardless of age, are stumped when it comes to important life-saving health screenings, according to a new Cleveland Clinic survey.
Edmund Sabanegh, MD, of Cleveland Clinic, isn’t surprised. He said some men take better care of their cars, than their own bodies.
“Those of us who love our cars would not bring our car in out of oil, burned out engine, and that’s the situation we risk getting in with men,” said Dr. Sabanegh.
He added that it’s important to adhere to recommended screenings because in many cases an issue can be caught and treated early, versus having to deal with a significant health issue later.
Survey results show that only one-third of men knew that screening for colon cancer begins at age 50 – sooner if you’re at high risk.
“Colon cancer is one of the cancers that’s extremely preventable and treatable. If we find it early, we can really take great care of this man,” said Dr. Sabanegh.
There’s also confusion among men when to comes to prostate cancer screenings.
“50 is the magic number where we start recommending physical exams and PSA blood tests, which is a blood test that screens for prostate cancer,” said Dr. Sabanegh. “If you have a high risk situation, like a relative who has had prostate cancer we would recommend screening earlier, usually at 45.”
Heart and blood pressure
More than half of the men surveyed believed heart screening tests begin at 40 or older, and that blood pressure screenings start at 35 – when both actually start at age 20.
“We see cardiac disease as a growing problem in much younger men than we used to see it,” said Dr. Sabanegh. “So, it’s very important that they get at least an initial blood pressure and some screening at 20.”
Doctor Sabanegh said it’s also a good idea for men to have their cholesterol checked. It’s recommended that everyone 20 and older be checked at least every 5 years.