June is Men’s Health Month—a good time for renewing a commitment to practicing healthy lifestyle habits, like eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and getting quality rest. Scheduling an annual checkup and routine preventive care to detect health issues early when they may be most treatable are also important ways to support overall wellness. Some preventive care services, including but not limited to screenings, exams, and immunizations, are covered at no cost share for members.
During an annual checkup, a doctor will screen for blood pressure, healthy weight, and assess overall health. This is also a time to discuss family health history, risk factors for illness, and other health concerns, including preventive care screenings. Depending on age and risk factors, our health maintenance guidelines provide many of the latest U.S. Preventive Services Task Force preventive health screening recommendations for people of all ages to help determine which screenings to discuss with a doctor. Read on to learn about important ways men can care for their health.
Cholesterol Screening – Starting at Age 40
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 25 million U.S. adults have high cholesterol—and many aren’t aware. Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that can build up in the blood. Healthy cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol) is created by the liver to help the body build cells and make vitamins, while too much dietary cholesterol from animal products and fats (low-density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol) can lead to health issues. Getting a cholesterol screening and finding ways to prevent or lower levels of unhealthy cholesterol can help reduce the risk of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in men.
Colonoscopies – Starting at Age 45
Colorectal cancer, the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S., can develop from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. About one in 23 men are at risk of developing colorectal cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. Fortunately, when detected early through screening, polyps can be removed before potentially developing into cancer.
Prostate Screening – Ages 55-69
About one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society. A physical prostate exam is not always required. Today’s preventive screening may include a blood test to detect high levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) before additional tests are recommended. Prostate cancer can be life-threatening if left unchecked to spread. But if caught early with screening, the five-year relative survival rate is nearly 100%.
When feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression linger or substance use becomes excessive, it’s important to know that confidential support is available. Consider discussing concerns and mental health screening options with a provider to determine the right resources for accessing care. Routine depression screening is available at no cost share for members. Members may also self-refer to a participating behavioral health provider for in-person or virtual visits for mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) treatment services through U.S. Behavioral Health Plan, California by calling (855) 202-0984 or visiting liveandworkwell.com.
Members have convenient, 24/7 access to manage many aspects of their care, including scheduling an annual physical or a same-day in-person or virtual visit with a participating provider, viewing lab results, and connecting with a care team through My Health Online, Sutter’s secure patient portal. Login or sign up to make an appointment.