Medical information, tests and screening for men

"Real men" are being targeted to get them to focus on their health - especially cancer detection, prevention, and awareness.  The medical awareness campaign includes advertising on ESPN with popular hosts performing "Sports Center" type reports and updates on men's health - colon cancer and colon cancer screening, hypertension, or high blood pressure and heart disease and heart attacks for example.  In fact, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, men need to increase their awareness of medical issues such as cancer and heart attack risks.  For example:

1 in 5 American men has heart disease.

1 in 3 American adults has high blood pressure.

3 out of 4 American men are overweight.

9 out of 10 lung cancer deaths are caused by smoking.

According to the AHRQ, once men turn 50 they need to be screened for colorectal cancer - earlier if they have a family history of colorectal cancer.  The screening may include a colonoscopy, repeat screening may occur at different intervals.  Men should also talk to their doctor about screening for other types of cancer - skin cancer, prostate cancer, and lung cancer - are examples of cancers to be screened for.  Early detection of cancer, before it has the opportunity to spread, or metastasize, is always better for treatment and survival.

Cholesterol should be checked regulary once a man turns 35.  Cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease and can be controlled by diet, exercise and medication.

The AHRQ recommends blood pressure be checked every two years.  High blood pressure (hypertension) increases the risk of heart disease, kidney disease and stroke.

Obesity also increases the risk of heart disease and other serious medical conditions.  Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a measure of body fat based on height and weight.  For a quick calculation of BMI, go to  the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute website, http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/.

At risk men should also speak to their health care provider about screening for sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, depression and other diseases and medical symptoms.  The point of the campaign and ESPN spots - get tested and talk to your doctor.  A real man wants to be around for his family.  

For more information on men's health, cancer screening and prevention, risk factors for heart attack and heart disease and other topics on men's health, go to http://ahrq.gov.realmen/prevent