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Age-old problems

Published:Monday | November 30, 2015 | 11:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence

Lets face it, when you go to the doctor's office for a check-up, the general population is women, and unless it reaches an emergency-room scenario or requires the support of a significant other, it is less likely for men to make it to the doctors office.

It is important that men, however, do a check-up just to ensure that everything is working as it should. Flair solicited the expertise of family practitioner Dr Garth Rattray to help men become aware of what to look for based on their age.

Age 25-35

Men in this age group should do blood tests that look out for high cholesterol and diabetes. They should also test their kidneys.

Age 35-40

If you ignore the above-mentioned tests during that age period it definitely should not be ignored by the age of 35. It is most important at this time because you are most likely affected at this time. You should also add tests for your blood pressure and any heart disease.

Age 40

This is the time for the check-up that most men fear - the prostate. From this point, men should do a blood test annually to check the prostate-specific antigen along with a physical test to feel whether or not the prostate is enlarged or has the correct texture. It should be firm like a muscle, even though it is not. It should not be too soft or tough, just firm.

Age 50

Along with prostate testing, men must now check for colon cancer. Men should do a colonoscopy, and if the results are perfect, they will not need to do another one for 10 years. If there are any abnormalities, depending on the requests of the doctor, you will be required to have these tests every three to five years. The colonoscopy is expensive, and as such, a sigmoidoscopy or a more affordable faecal occult blood test that consists of three stool tests is a viable option.

Note: The previous tests should not be avoided.

As you age, listen to your body and remember to maintain a nutritious and healthy diet and get adequate exercise.

jody-anne.lawrence@gleanerjm.com