Why do men dread hospital check-ups, yours truly included?
Well, it will be important to critically review our health status in 2015 since as Peter Nduati, the CEO of Resolution Insurance says, “The long-term safety and health of a family depends on the health of the family breadwinner.”
Dr John Onge’ch of Kenyatta National Hospital lists these as tests every man should have:
Blood pressure: The test, according to Dr Ong’ech, is painless and affordable in public as well as private health facilities.
Increased blood pressure, medically referred to as hypertension, can cause organ damage or even instant death. Once taken into account, hypertension can be managed well and the patient treated back to good health.
Prostate cancer: Prostate cancer is among dangerous illnesses that claim men’s lives. It has been determined before that the probability of prostate cancer increases with age and family history.
But the two notwithstanding, and knowing that there are other environmental causes of cancer, Dr Ong’ech insists that every man should take a prostate-specific antigen test (PSA) or perform digital rectal examination to ascertain good health from prostate cancer.
Diabetes: While diabetes is mainly a metabolic disease, it affects almost all important systems in the body. Diabetes predisposes one to a host of other illnesses (which could as well have been prevented through proper management) like loss of vision.
Testicular cancer: Research indicates that testicular cancer mainly affects young men between the ages of 20 and 39. This type of cancer is rare but is deadly when left unattended. Even the American Cancer Society recommends a testicular exam “as part of a routine check-up.”
Cholesterol: A cholesterol test is important especially when one has a family history of heart ailments. Cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease. Cholesterol build-up leads to atherosclerosis – hardening and narrowing of arteries.
Eventually, this can lead to heart attack and stroke. Fasting blood lipid panel is a blood test that brings out total “bad” and “good” cholesterol, as well as triglycerides (blood fat).
Colorectal cancer: According to US statistics, colorectal cancer (commonly known as colon cancer) is the second most common cancer causing death among men. Men have a slightly higher risk of developing it than women. At early stages, colon cancer can be well arrested says Dr Ong’ech.
HIV: The availability of anti-retroviral therapy medicine has made it possible to live long with the HIV. But if it goes undetected, it makes it possible for pathogens to cause disease that could lead to death. Knowing one’s HIV status also helps in protecting sex partners