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7 Must-Have Health Screening Tests for Men

By Sunway Medical Centre | Jun 29 2023

Man getting a full body check

Preventive healthcare such as full body checkups are crucial steps to take to maintain optimal well-being and prevent the onset of potential health issues. These screenings can detect diseases and medical conditions at early stages, allowing for timely intervention and treatment.

We all know that women need to go through a variety of health checks and tests to ensure that they’re free of certain life-threatening conditions. But what about men? What are some screening tests that men should go through? We share more in this article. 

1. Blood Cholesterol

Also known as lipid profile tests, blood cholesterol tests provide information about several key markers:

• LDL Cholesterol: Known as “bad” cholesterol, it can build up in the arteries and restrict blood flow, increasing the risk of heart diseases, heart attacks, and strokes. High levels of LDL cholesterol are more common in men. 

• HDL Cholesterol: Considered “good” cholesterol, it can help remove excess cholesterol from the bloodstream, offering protection against cardiovascular problems. However, men often have lower HDL cholesterol levels compared to women. 

• Triglycerides: A type of fat found in the blood, high levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol can increase the risk of heart disease.

Men are usually encouraged to undergo cholesterol screenings regularly because the primary male sex hormone—testosterone—tends to lower HDL cholesterol levels, which can lead to higher cholesterol levels in men. Those who smoke, suffer from obesity, high blood pressure or diabetes, or have a family history of cardiovascular diseases are also at risk of high cholesterol. 

2. Blood Pressure

A blood pressure test measures the force of blood against the walls of your arteries as the heart pumps blood throughout your body. These tests help identify potential hypertension to allow for early preventive measures.

Men are recommended to get their blood pressure tested as they are generally more prone to higher blood pressure due to a combination of physiological and lifestyle factors:

• Hormonal Differences: Testosterone can increase vasoconstriction (the narrowing of blood vessels), leading to higher blood pressure levels. 

• Body Size and Composition: Some men tend to have a larger body size and higher muscle mass compared to women, which require more blood to supply oxygen and nutrients to tissues. This can increase blood volume and blood pressure.

• Lifestyle: Those who engage in unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, as well as diets with high salt and saturated fat are more at risk of developing high blood pressure. 

3. Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy is a crucial health screening test for men to detect and prevent colorectal cancer, one of the most common cancers among men. It is a comprehensive examination of the colon and rectum to detect any abnormalities, such as inflammation, ulcers, bleeding, or polyps.

It is generally recommended that men undergo their first colonoscopy by the age of 50, and then repeat the procedure every 10 years. Individuals with a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, or a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease are advised to start screening at an earlier age or go for more frequent tests.

4. Diabetes

To find out if you are at risk of developing diabetes, here are some tests that you should consider undergoing:

• Glucose Tests: Glucose tests are the primary diagnostic tests for diabetes, measuring the level of glucose in your blood. The two common tests used are Fasting Plasma Glucose, which measures blood glucose levels after an overnight fast, and Oral Glucose Tolerance Test, which measures blood glucose levels before and two hours after consuming a glucose-rich drink, assessing the body’s ability to process glucose over time.

• Glycated Haemoglobin Test: This test measures the average blood glucose levels over the past two to three months, providing an indication of long-term blood sugar control. 

5. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)

Regular STD testing is particularly important for men who are sexually active, engage in high-risk sexual behaviours, or have multiple sexual partners.

There are many types of STD tests available, and the specific tests taken will depend on your sexual history, and symptoms. The tests can help detect infections such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Hepatitis B and C, and Herpes.

Learn More: What To Do If You Suspect You Have STDs

6. Obesity

Full body checkups usually include basic clinical assessments that tell you your height and weight and your body mass index. These are essential tests that can help identify and assess the presence of obesity—a condition characterised by excessive body fat accumulation.

Obesity is associated with various health risks, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and also reduces your overall quality of life. With these tests, you’ll be able to find out more about your body’s condition, and determine whether you’ll need to make certain lifestyle changes to maintain a healthy weight.

7. Prostate Cancer

Regular screening allows for early detection and management of prostate cancer, which is another common cancer among men. Here are some tests that can help to identify potential issues associated with prostate cancer:

• Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test: This test measures the levels of a protein known as prostate-specific antigen in the blood. Elevated PSA levels can indicate the presence of prostate cancer, prostate enlargement, or infection.

• Digital Rectal Examination: This is a physical examination of the prostate gland that detects any lumps or irregularities.

• Prostate Biopsy: If the PSA test or Digital Rectal Examination raises suspicion of prostate cancer, a prostate biopsy may be recommended. Small tissue samples will be taken from the prostate gland and examined to determine if cancer cells are present.

Prioritising regular health screenings is essential for men to maintain optimal well-being and prevent potential life-threatening health issues. By proactively going for these health screening for men, you can take control of your health and make informed decisions to safeguard your well-being and improve your quality of life.

Sunway Medical in Singapore offers a variety of essential health screening packages for men. Make an appointment with us today to take charge of your health.

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