Why Regular Checkups Are Important: Men’s Perspective

If you still haven’t heard of Movember, it may be a good time for you to get off that chair and start working out or grow a moustache for a month straight. Doesn’t really sound like you? Well, we may have a few points that will make you change your mind.

Movember is a global movement that aims at raising people’s awareness around men’s health and raising funds to help reduce the rate of men dying prematurely by launching various initiatives in November - e.g. running a race or growing your mo.

That said, what better time for us to bring up the importance of regular checkups and compile a list of reasons why checking on your health on a regular basis is fundamental for both your short and long term wellbeing? Let’s get started.

Prevention is better than a cure

Regular health exams and tests allow your doctor to spot any issues at an early stage or take necessary steps to prevent any future illness, thus increasing chances for a healthier and happier life. Your doctor will determine what tests you should take and when, according to your specific needs and age; the list below entails the most common routine exams suggested for men:

  • annual physical exam and blood tests, including blood pressure and height/weight check
  • diabetes and high cholesterol screening
  • vision/eye examination
  • chest x-ray and electrocardiogram to check heart or lung diseases
  • endoscopy and colonoscopy
  • prostatic and testicular cancer screening
  • screening for other types of cancer (e.g. gastric, esophageal, skin)

Keep your medical record updated

There are different screening tests that are applicable at various times throughout someone’s life, so it is important to have an annual review with your doctor, who will be able to check your medical record and assess whether additional exams are necessary or address any needs you might have at that specific time. Keeping your medical record up to date will also avoid rushing different tests at one time whenever your doctor spots any issue and believes more exams are necessary. Moreover, it is vital for doctors to know their patients well and have an overview of their clinical history to ensure their medical choices are in their patients’ best interest.

Create a plan with your doctor to promote your health

You may be surprised of the things you can plan with your doctor to improve your health and remain in good shape. This is where regular checkups come in: even if you are feeling well, regular tests will allow you to work together with your doctor on a plan to best promote your health, e.g. discussing the best exercise plan or diet, making future arrangements for screening tests or identifying serious conditions that might have been overlooked. The lack of symptoms does not correspond necessarily to the lack of problems, as symptoms often come into play when a permanent problem is already there. Establishing a good relationship with your doctor will ease the process of addressing health concerns and making sure your health is in good hands every step of the way.

Ask yourself...

Questions you should ask yourself at this point would be: when was the last time I saw my doctor? Am I aware of the tests that are recommended for my age? And overall, am I taking good care of myself? Our busy schedule, the feeling we are young and healthy or the fear to discover there is actually something wrong with us, might stop us from seeking advice, but let’s face it, these are just excuses. If you have doubts on how to answer any of the questions mentioned above, take the time to contact your health provider, schedule an appointment and take full charge of your health!

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About the author

Dr. Alexandre Figueiredo, Medical Content Manager

Alex is a medical doctor by training. He feels strongly about the current shortcomings of our healthcare system and thinks it’s about time that patients started benefiting from first-class, yet affordable treatment.

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