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Prioritizing men’s health

Typically, men are less likely to get care and have regular health screenings. National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is a great time to take charge of your health by getting preventive care, especially care that can help screen for prostate and testicular cancers.

Preventive care reduces costs

Getting routine preventive care is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Regular preventative screenings can help you catch any health issues early, when they are easier and less costly to treat.

men exercisingPreventive care starts when you schedule your annual wellness visit so you can get the screenings recommended for your age and health condition. The following are typical screenings recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for men of all ages:

  • Blood pressure check
  • A1C testing
  • Cholesterol screening
  • Diabetic retinal eye exam
  • Prostate cancer screening
  • Kidney health screening
  • Skin cancer screening
  • Lung cancer screening, if you’re age 50 or older and are a current or former smoker
  • Regular colorectal cancer screening starting at age 45 or as recommended by your doctor

Early detection improves outcomes

Eating healthy and exercising help you create a healthy life, but many other factors outside of your control can impact your health.

Catching cancer early when it is easier to treat increases your chances of survival. While it’s not possible to prevent cancer entirely, cancer screenings can improve your overall health outcomes.

Detecting prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the second most-common cancer in American men after skin cancer. In the U.S., about 85% of men with prostate cancer are diagnosed at an early stage, which is often when there are no symptoms. Early detection, as a result of annual screenings, has greatly reduced the fatality rate since 2007, when screening guidelines were established.

While the exact causes of prostate cancer are unknown, understanding your risk factors can help you catch the disease when it’s easier to treat.

It’s rare for men younger than age 40 to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, but men who are 65 or older have a 6 in 10 chance of being diagnosed. Race and genetics also play a factor in diagnosis. African American men are twice as likely as white men to get prostate cancer, and men with a family history of it have a two times greater risk.

Detecting testicular cancer

Relatively rare, testicular cancer mostly affects younger men, between the ages of 15-49. For men in that age bracket, it’s the most common kind of cancer.

Testicular cancer risk factors include:

  • An undescended testicle, or cryptorchidism
  • Family history of testicular cancer
  • Previous diagnosis of testicular cancer
  • Intratubular germ cell neoplasia (ITGCN)

Self-exams are encouraged since lumps are a possible indication of testicular cancer. Your doctor may perform an exam during your routine checkup to scan for lumps – more in-depth tests are needed to determine if lumps are cancerous.

Talk to your doctor

What screening schedule is right for you? Talk to your provider about your concerns and health history. We can help you find a doctor near you. Make sure you are logged in so that you only see providers who are in your network.

Remember that routine preventive care is covered at little or no cost when visiting in-network providers.


Publish Date: September 20, 2023