If you are a man over 50 and uncertain about your health, we have a list of important medical tests that you should consider. Turning 50 is a significant milestone, and it's worth celebrating. You've not only reached half a century but have also been making choices for your own well-being and that of your family. However, as you hit this crucial age, your body starts aging, making it more susceptible to certain diseases. It's essential to prioritize your health and undergo regular medical tests to ensure you remain in good health and free from diseases.
Yet, many men in their 50s often believe they are completely healthy and invulnerable to illness. They avoid regular medical tests, often unaware of potential underlying health issues. The truth is, there are specific medical tests that every man in his 50s should consider to safeguard his health.
With that in mind, we've compiled a list of medical tests that men in their 50s should undergo regularly. Take a look below:
Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Test
All men are at risk of prostate cancer, but the risk increases for those in their 50s or older. The PSA test is a blood test used to measure the level of PSA in your bloodstream. Elevated PSA levels may indicate prostate cancer or an enlarged or inflamed prostate. Obtaining an accurate reading may require a rectal examination. If your PSA levels are 3 ng/mL or higher, your doctor might recommend a prostate biopsy. If the levels are below 1 ng/mL, you may need another PSA test around the age of 60.
If you are 50 years or older, your doctor will recommend a colonoscopy. You might need this test earlier if you have certain risk factors, such as Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBS) or a family history of colon cancer. A colonoscopy can help detect cancer or precancerous growths in the colon and rectum, often leading to an accurate diagnosis and treatment without major surgery.
Blood Pressure Test
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a significant concern for men over 50. It increases the risk of coronary artery disease, potentially leading to life-threatening events like heart attacks and strokes. Hypertension is often referred to as the "silent killer" because it often presents no symptoms. Regular diagnostic tests are crucial for early detection and controlling hypertension and its associated complications. If your blood pressure is normal, your doctor will likely check it annually. However, readings above 140/90 may require more frequent testing, especially if you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or other health conditions.
Lipid Profile Test
A lipid profile test assesses the cholesterol content in your blood. Every man over the age of 20 should have this test every five years. If your cholesterol levels are within a safe range, you may not need another test for five years. However, if your levels are high, your doctor will recommend more frequent testing as you work to lower your cholesterol through diet, exercise, and other measures.
Blood Sugar Test
Men over 45 should have their blood sugar or glucose levels checked. This test is particularly important if you experience symptoms of high blood sugar, such as unintentional weight loss, slow wound healing, or excessive thirst. High blood sugar may be a sign of diabetes, which can lead to vision problems, kidney disorders, and an increased risk of coronary heart disease. If your blood sugar is normal, you can have the test every three years. If it's high, your doctor will recommend more frequent checks and additional tests to assess your risk of diabetes.
Regular eye exams become more crucial as men enter their 50s. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, it's essential to monitor any changes in your vision by consulting an ophthalmologist. These exams can also help detect vision issues that may develop at this age, such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Many eye-related problems may not exhibit symptoms until they have advanced. These exams are even more important if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or a family history of eye diseases. Consider getting an eye test every two years or as recommended by your doctor.
A man in his 50s has many responsibilities, including ensuring the well-being of his grown children. While you're busy preparing for your future, don't forget to prioritize your health by undergoing the essential medical tests listed above. This way, you can witness your children's graduation and many other milestones in good health.
Written by: Deepti Dogra
Edited by: Aniket Joshi