Our health is ever-changing as we grow and age. With each decade, we will all face different health trials and tribulations.

In honor of Men’s Health Month, Dr. Robert Mordkin, U.S. Medical Director for LetsGetChecked wants to talk you through what you need to test with each passing decade, as well as the steps that you can take to start bettering your health today.


Contents


Men’s Health | What To Test In Your 20s
Men’s Health | What To Test In Your 30s
Men’s Health | What To Test In Your 40s
Men’s Health | What To Test In Your 50s
Men’s Health | What To Test In Your 60s
Making Time For Optimal Health


When it comes to our health, there are certain things that are out of our control, such as injuries and accidents.

Our genetics and family history will also play a significant role in our health down the line.

In saying this, there are variables that we can control such as the food we eat, how much we move, lifestyle factors such as drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, taking recreational drugs and managing our emotional health.

In this article, we are not ruling out ANY health conditions per age group. We are simply illustrating the most common health concerns and the screening that you should be thinking about per decade.

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Men’s Health | What To Test In Your 20s


Your 20s set out the building blocks for your health later in life.

Your early twenties often bring about a great deal of change. This may happen naturally as you move out of the family home, go to university, start a new job and make new friends.


So, what are your biggest health concerns in your 20s?


  • Your sexual health
  • Testicular cancer
  • Your emotional health

When it comes to screening, you need to put a particular focus on your sexual health screening.

“Young adults aged 20-24 years of age are at a higher risk of acquiring STDs for a combination of behavioural, biological and cultural reasons.” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

You have a 50% chance of contracting a sexually transmitted disease before the age of 24. The CDC also report that men aged 20-24 are among those with the highest incidence rate of chlamydia.

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Often, people in their early 20s are not equipped with the knowledge they need to tackle a sexually transmitted disease head on. Click here to find out how you get an STD.

If you are having unprotected sex and if you have multiple partners, you have a higher risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease, period.

If you are having unprotected sex, you are also increasing your risk of unplanned pregnancy, however for the sake of this article, we will focus in on the steps you can take to avoid a sexually transmitted disease.

“Risky sexual behaviour” is defined as behaviour that puts people at risk for sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies.

Risky sexual behaviours may include:

  • Having sex without barrier protection (such as a condom)
  • Having oral sex without barrier protection (such as a condom)
  • Having multiple sexual partners
  • Having sex with a partner who has unprotected sex
  • Having sex with a partner who uses intraveous drugs
  • Alcohol or drug use during sex

Sexual health screening isn’t just something you should be keeping an eye on in your 20s, it’s something to watch out for at every point of your life. Make sexual health screening part of each yearly check-up, ensuring that you are extra vigilant in your 20s and 30s.

Click here to browse our at home sexual health screening options.


Additionally:

  • Lots of men do not know this, but the majority of testicular cancer cases are diagnosed between the ages of 18-35, which is why it is important to start carrying out regular testicular checks. You can carry out this process yourself. The more acquainted you are with your testicles, the better the chance of an early intervention, should you notice any unusual lumps or bumps.

  • As your 20s are a time of great change, it can be a time when your emotional health can come under strain. You are most likely to experience an emotional health issue in your twenties. Long term study has shown that most young people will be more likely to experience anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and bipolar in their early twenties. Start the habit of checking in with yourself early, if symptoms of emotional strain persist, reach out to support services or friends and family that will be able to offer support during this time.


Men’s Health | What To Test In Your 30s


After the age of 30, men start to lose 1% off their total testosterone per year. Testosterone is the the most well known and prominent male sex hormone.

Testosterone plays a role in regulating muscle mass, fat distribution, red blood cell production, sex drive. Testosterone also influences bone health, cardiovascular health and your mood. Click here for your guide to testosterone.


So, what is your biggest health concern in your 30s?


  • Testosterone decline or hormonal imbalance

As men age, they are more and more likely to experience low testosterone and hormonal balance, such as estrogen dominance.

For the majority of men, more responsibility comes with hitting your 30s. You might be working in a higher profile position at work, you might be trying to start a family or you might simply find yourself under more pressure than you used to.

There are a number of factors that come into play that can lead to declining testosterone. A lot of these factors result from insufficient time to practice slef care on a regular basis and include:

  • Stress
  • Significant weight gain or obesity
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Extreme exercise
  • Using performance enhancing supplements
  • Certain medications
  • The development of certain genetic disorders

It’s important to keep an eye on testosterone decline because it may lead to other health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, infertility or a loss in bone density which can lead to osteopenia and osteoporosis.

Low testosterone is also frequently associated with sexual performance issues such as erectile dysfunction, low libido and ejaculatory disorders.

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It has been found that low testosterone may have an impact on sperm quality which is why it is important to complete hormonal panels if you are planning on starting a family.

While there are a number of causes of low testosterone, the only real way to diagnose low testosterone, or indeed other hormone imbalance is to take a blood test that measures your range of hormones in the blood. If a patient receives a low testosterone diagnosis, physicians may offer varying treatments depending on your specific case.

The day to day symptoms of hormonal imbalance are difficult to identify, as they can be incredibly subtle. Your 30s are a good time to start and maintain this process for better overall health. Click here to view at home male hormone testing.


Additionally:

If you have a family history of heart disease, prostate cancer or colorectal cancer, now is the time to start educating yourself and exploring options for the future. Your family history will largely dictate the steps you should be taking next.


Men’s Health | What To Test In Your 40s


As we age, our metabolic rate begins to slow down. If you are noticing that it’s more difficult to maintain or lose weight even if you're following the same nutrition and exercise regime that you have always followed, this is often explained by the slow down in your metabolism.

During your 40s, you may notice the onset of grey hair, balding, wrinkles, and a lower sex drive, while these factors may be challenging to deal with in the beginning. They come seconday to the real health concerns that you need to be watching on an on-going basis.


So, what are your biggest health concerns in your 40s?


  • High cholesterol
  • Higher risk of diabetes

It’s important to again mention that family history will rule the day when it comes to your risk of living with the above, however, there are plenty of lifestyle factors that we can omit or implement if we want to better our changes of living happier and healthier lives.

Higher cholesterol is more common as we age due to the fact that our metabolism is facing a slow down. Additionally, as we age, we are less likely to get as much movement into our day-to -day routine.

It has been reported that sitting for long periods of time may be as damaging as obesity or smoking ciggarettes which isn’t great news for those with office jobs.

Heart disease is the most common cause of death for both men and women globally which is why it is important to keep an eye on your cholesterol levels, especially if you have a family history of heart events.

When it comes to lifestyle factors, high cholesterol is largely caused by obesity, our diet and smoking.

Use the 40s for an overhaul on some negative habits that you may be harbouring. If you eat a lot of fatty foods, start incorporating more vegetables into your daily diet. If you are smoking, find a way to quit and quit as soon as possible and if you are overweight, start thinking of the healthy proactive steps that you can take to lose the pounds.

Click here to browse at home cholesterol tests.

Men are more susceptible to developing type 2 diabetes in their 40s, if you have no family history of type 1 or type 2 diabetes, this is the age when you need to start testing your blood sugar levels. The widely recommended test for diabetes is the HbA1c test which reviews your blood sugar from the previous 3 months.

Generally speaking, the most common age to get diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is 45 years of age. It is predicted that the prevalence rate of diabetes will continue over the next 20 years with 70% of patients being between the ages of 45-64 years of age.

It is also important to note that diabetes may also lead to heart issues through uncontrolled levels of glucose in the blood damaging nerves and blood vessels, which is why it is so important to co-test blood lipids and blood sugars.

Click here to browse at home diabetes tests.


Men’s Health | What To Test In Your 50s


While we advise that those with a family history of any health condition begin screening based on their doctor’s recommendations, you need to start paying extra close attention to cancer screening once you hit your 50s.

I think the way we need to look at screening is that as we age, we are layering on the best prevention possible by learning more and more about our health. If you have a perceived or real risk of acquiring a condition, you should be getting screened more frequently.


So, what are your biggest health concerns in your 50s?


  • Prostate cancer
  • Colorectal cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. When it comes to prostate cancer screening, your 50s are going to again be the age when you should be looking into the different screening options available to you.

Many of the men who get diagnosed will come into the physician’s office with symptoms, but realistically their symptoms are not related to prostate cancer; they will come in with symptoms that are related more to age changes that happen in their prostate.

As men get older, their prostate naturally grows and as a part of that natural growth, they begin to have urinary symptoms. When the prostate grows, it is not solely down to cancer, it is also age-related.

Symptoms of prostate cancer and prostate gland enlargement may include, but are not limited to:

  • Slowing of the urinary stream
  • Having to go to the bathroom or the need to urinate more frequently
  • Having to get up more often at night to urinate
  • Having a hard time getting the urine flow started once men feel like they need to urinate
  • Feeling like they’re not emptying their bladder
  • Having to stop and start to completely empty their bladder

Click here your full guide to prostate cancer signs and symptoms.

There are two parts to prostate cancer screening. You will need to visit your physician’s office for a routine prostate exam, which involves a rectal exam in which the doctor will feel the surface of your prostate gland.

The next step of the process involves a PSA test, PSA stands for Prostate Specific Antigen. This is a compound which is found in the blood. The test can be completed via a blood test, taken at your physician’s office, or you can take an at home PSA test.

Both steps of the testing process are necessary and again I recommend that men start screening for prostate cancer at the age of 50. If you have a family history, you will need to start the screening process at a younger age, though it is best to be advised by your physician on your personal required screening age if this is the case.

Click here to browse at home PSA tests.


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If you are in the opposite boat and you have no family history and a clean bill of health, you should be continuously armouring yourself with the best prevention you can, and that is regular screening.

The decade in which you need to get serious about cancer screening is your 50s. When we talk about cancer screening in general, it’s important to note that most countries have a different recommended screening age.

For example, in the case of colorectal cancer screening, recommended screening ages range from 40 up to 70, depending on the country you live in.

From my perspective, if you haven’t already, you need to start routine screening for colorectal cancer in your 50s.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States. 1 in 22 men will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in their lifetime.

While colorectal cancer may affect teenagers and young adults, it is more likely to affect people over the age of 50.

You should especially consider screening for colorectal cancer if you are experiencing the symptoms of colorectal cancer, you have a history of adenomas, you have suffered from other health conditions such as IBD, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease or if you have undergone radiation therapy.

Click here to browse colorectal cancer tests.


Additionally:


  • Take a cholesterol test every other year
  • Take a diabetes test every other year
  • Take a male hormone test if you are experiencing symptoms of hormonal imbalance
  • Request that your blood pressure is measured at each check up

Men’s Health | What To Test In Your 60s


Ah the 60s! A time when the majority of men will be able to start thinking about retirement and winding down to enjoy the finer things in life.

If you have been incorporating good health values and have been attending regular screenings, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be reaping the rewards of good health.

Your body may feel different to how it once did as a twenty year old but early investment in your health is always worth it.

As I mentioned earlier, you should look at continuous and regular screening as a layering of prevention as you age.

What you should be testing in your 60s is really a collection of everything you have been getting tested throughout your life, so instead of answering, “What are your biggest health concerns in your 60s?” I will tell you how often you should be attending all health screenings throughout your 60s.


So, when should you be attending screenings in your 60s?


  • Blood pressure: In your 60s, you need to get your blood pressure checked once a year.
  • Colorectal cancer screening: you need to attend fecal blood testing once per year.
  • Colonoscopy: you need to attend a colonoscopy every 10 years.
  • Prostate cancer screening: you need to attend prostate cancer as much as is recommended by your physician, following initial testing in your 50s.
  • Cholesterol testing: you should attend cholesterol testing once a year.
  • Diabetic Testing: you should attend diabetic testing once a year.
  • Abdominal aneurysm screening: if you have ever smoked, you should attend abdominal aortic aneurysm screening between the age of 65 and 75.

Making Time For Optimal Health


With over 20 years of medical experience, my advice is simple; moderation is key.

If you’re trying to make healthy adjustments to your lifestyle, the easiest rule of thumb is to remember that moderation is key in all things.

Eat well and move often, make sure that you are taking time for yourself and always, always attend recommended screenings for your age group. The consequence of doing so could be life changing.

Click here to browse all men's health tests.


If you would like to learn more about the range of at home tests that LetsGetChecked provide, you can contact our team directly via live chat to learn more about the process.


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