Cancer Screenings that Matter for Men

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Recommended Cancer Screenings

Are you missing the mark when it comes to managing your personal health? Studies show men have a tendency to seek healthcare services only in “crisis” situations—and often end up skipping annual checkups and recommended screenings. However, many conditions are more treatable and less threatening to overall health when they are detected early.

Prostate cancer screenings are effective in detecting cancer before it causes any noticeable symptoms. Screening tests often include a digital rectal exam (DRE) and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test. Talk with your healthcare provider about the pros and cons of regular screening starting at age 50, or earlier if you are at higher risk.

Colorectal cancer screenings to detect polyps in the colon should begin at age 50, or earlier if there is a personal or family history of colorectal polyps, or a family history of colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer screenings can be done either with an annual fecal occult blood testing or colonoscopy every 10 years. The goal is to detect polyps before they develop into cancer or while they're still in the early stages.

Skin cancer screenings detect moles or other growths on your skin that might be cancer. Overall, one in 27 white men will develop melanoma in their lifetimes. Getting a yearly check by your physician or dermatologist can help find skin cancer early when it is easiest to treat.

Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer in men. It’s recommended men get screened once a year if they’re 55 to 80 years old, have smoked at least a pack a day for 30 years, and smoke now or quit within the past 15 years. During the screen, a low-dose computed tomography scan uses X-rays to make pictures of your lungs to detect any areas of concern.

The most important step you can take to manage your health is establishing a good relationship with a primary care provider. Not sure where to begin? Visit www.lakelandhealth.org/physicians to start your search

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