6. Do research online
“As a physician, I encourage online research for my patients as it means they are invested in their health and want to find out how to prevent or fix a problem,” Dhir said. On the flip side, he added, there is a lot of pseudoscience available online and it can be quite confusing and misleading to the average patient.
7. But don’t take Dr. Google’s word for it
In the internet age, all symptoms can be easily researched and investigated via “Dr. Google,” Dhir noted. “Men who self-diagnose do so because it is more convenient to get online versus schedule a visit with a physician and potentially miss work.” But self-diagnosis can be dangerous. “Although you may be informed about your symptoms and possible causes, you should always confirm suspicions by consulting with your doctor.” What if you’re wrong? These are 25 health symptoms people always ignore but never should.
8. Get even mild urinary symptoms checked out
Mild urinary symptoms should at the very least be mentioned to your primary care doctor during a yearly physical. “As men age, there can be some bothersome urinary symptoms that can begin to present usually in the late 40s and early 50s,” Dhir said. “This could be a slightly weaker urinary stream or possibly waking up at night to urinate when previously sleep was never interrupted.”
If those urinary symptoms progress and possibly worsen, it is definitely time to see a urologist for evaluation and workup, he noted. “Most of the time, a diagnosis of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is made and treatment options are provided.” Less frequently, but possible, the urinary symptoms could be a sign of something more complex such as an infection, scar in the urethra, tumors of the bladder or prostate, or even kidney stone disease, Dhir explained.
9. Don’t resists that colonoscopy
Resistance to getting a colonoscopy is very common among men, Mehta noted. “I always struggle to convince men to get it.” It’s important to get screened, even if only because men have a slightly higher risk of developing colorectal cancer than women — one in 22 for men compared with one in 24 for women, according to the American Cancer Society. Early detection can significantly improve the chance of beating several types of cancer, including of the colon.
10. Screen for prostate cancer
“As we age, it is important to screen for colon cancer at age 50 and screen for prostate cancer around that same time,” Dhir said. “If you have a family history of prostate cancer you may consider starting screening 5 years earlier.” Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer in men and a leading cause of death worldwide. These are the most common cancers in men and women.