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Men’s Health Month 2020: It’s Time for a Change

Men’s Health Month 2020: It’s Time for a Change

With a new decade comes the opportunity to both look back and look forward. This time for reflection gives us all a unique occasion to evaluate how we have been dealing with our health, both physical and mental.

Men, especially, should take this time to do just that.

According to a Cleveland Clinic study, men are less likely to take care of themselves and their health than women. They are half as likely to visit the doctor for a check-up compared to women. Over 7 million American men have not seen a doctor in over 10 years, citing embarrassment, lack of convenience, not wanting a bad diagnosis, and being told as children not to complain about medical problems as reasons for avoiding doctors visits.

It’s 2020, and it’s time for that to change.

Men from 19 to 90 still need routine checkups, and in light of COVID-19, need to take responsibility for their health. In his recent blog, Black men and boys are not immune to COVID-19 Eric Westbrook, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Black Male Engagement writes, “ COVID-19 coronavirus seems to impact those with preexisting health conditions like diabetes, heart and lung disease that make it difficult for them to fight the virus.”

Here is a decade-by-decade breakdown of when men should be getting certain checkups:

20s:

  • Every year – a physical exam, blood pressure analysis, blood and urine analysis, rectal exam, STD testing, self-performed testicular exam
  • Every 5 years – TB skin test
  • Every 10 years – Tetanus booster

30s:

  • Every year – a physical exam, blood pressure analysis, blood and urine analysis, rectal exam, STD testing, self-performed testicular exam, EKG for heart abnormalities
  • Every 5 years – TB skin test
  • Every 10 years – Tetanus booster

40s:

  • Every year – a physical exam, blood pressure analysis, blood and urine analysis, rectal exam, STD testing, self-performed testicular exam, EKG for heart abnormalities, prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening, hemoccult test
  • Every 5 years – TB skin test
  • Every 10 years – Tetanus booster
  • At physician’s discretion – chest x-ray, testosterone screening

50+:

  • Every year – a physical exam, blood pressure analysis, blood and urine analysis, rectal exam, STD testing, self-performed testicular exam, EKG for heart abnormalities, prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening, hemoccult test
  • Every 5 years – TB skin test
  • Every 10 years – Tetanus booster
  • At physician’s discretion – chest x-ray, testosterone screening, bone density screening

Each of these tests is necessary for monitoring and maintaining good health.

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