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"Getting annual screening tests is one of the most important things a man can do for his health," said Christopher Atalla, MD, Director of Men's Health at Good Samaritan University Hospital. "Screenings find diseases early, and outcomes can be more successful with early detection."


Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men. Even though most types tend to be slow-growing, there are also some aggressive, fast-growing types of prostate cancer. Talk to your doctor about when you get screened for prostate cancer. Screening involves a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and a digital rectal exam (DRE). Early detection of prostate cancer allows treatment to begin when the cancer is most treatable.

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Colorectal Cancer

Finding and removing polyps early, before they turn cancerous, is critical to preventing colorectal cancer. Otherwise, cancer can invade or spread to other body parts if it develops. Talk to your doctor about when to schedule your colonoscopy.

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Cholesterol Levels

A simple blood test can show your LDL, HDL and VLDL cholesterol levels. High levels of VLDL and LDL cholesterol in the blood cause plaque to build up in the walls of the arteries (atherosclerosis). This increases your risk of heart disease. Over time, it can lead to heart attack and stroke. Therefore, it’s essential to monitor your cholesterol levels. With lifestyle changes and medications, you can reduce "bad" cholesterol and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

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Type 2 Diabetes

Another simple blood test can screen for type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. Getting your A1c checked regularly, along with your fasting blood sugar, can identify if you are at risk for developing diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage and impotence. When found early, diabetes can be controlled and avoided with diet, exercise, weight loss and medications. Ask your doctor to check your blood sugar so you can discuss your numbers and know what steps to take next.

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High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

As men age, the risk for high blood pressure increases. Hypertension is also related to body weight and lifestyle. High blood pressure can lead to severe complications without any warning symptoms. You may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke or kidney failure when treated. Talk to your doctor about your blood pressure readings and what steps to take next. 

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Find Care at Catholic Health

Talk to your primary care physician (PCP) about these five health screenings and others that may be needed based on your age, family history, and medical conditions. Call 866-MY-LI-DOC (866-695-4362) to find a Catholic Health PCP near you.

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