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Businessmen: Know Your Numbers

     Detecting symptoms of certain health conditions early, when they are more easily treatable, is a critical factor in helping men stay healthy. That is why getting all your doctor-recommended health care screenings in a timely fashion should be at the top of your to-do list.  Take the time to not only focus on the success of your business, but on the success of your health and well-being.

     Here are a few of the most important things every businessman should be concerned about AND have checked.  Don’t just think about, let’s do this, men!

  1. BLOOD PRESSURE – High blood pressure is largest risk factor for Heart Disease.  EVERY man should have their blood pressure checked at least every two years if you have normal blood pressure (less than 130/80), and at least once per year if higher.  If it is elevated and/or if other cardiovascular risk factors are present, you should check your blood pressure more frequently and discuss with your doctor regarding proper lifestyle modifications.
  2. BLOOD CHOLESTEROL – All men 35 or older should get blood cholesterol levels checked regularly, meaning at least every 5 years. If you use tobacco, are overweight or obese, are diabetic, have high blood pressure or heart disease; or have a relative who had a heart attack before the age of 50, you should get your cholesterol checked much earlier, at the age of 20.
  3. DIABETES – One-third of all Americans with diabetes today don’t know they have it! If you are age 40 to 70, and overweight or obese, you should be tested.  Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage, and erectile dysfunction.  If you have a higher risk, including high cholesterol or high blood pressure, you may start testing earlier than age 40  and more frequently.
  4. PROSTATE CANCER – The recommendations for Prostate Cancer screening, particularly PSA screening, vary widely among health care professionals. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer found in American men after skin cancer.  If you are 40 years of age or older, talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of screening to determine what is best for you.  Men who opt for screening typically undergo the following two tests:
    1. Digital rectal examination (DRE) – The physician inserts a finger into the rectum to feel whether the prostate gland is enlarged or has any lumps or nodules.
    2. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test – This measures the blood level of a certain protein that is produced by the prostate gland, and can be elevated in men with prostate cancer or other types of male disease states.
  5. ABDOMINAL AORTIC ANEURYSM – Men between the ages of 65 and 75 who have ever smoked tobacco should get screened for an abdominal aortic aneurysm. I repeat, if you are between 65 and 75 years old and have EVER smoked tobacco, have this screening. The major risk of this aortic bulging is a rupture resulting in severe or fatal internal bleeding or even death.
  6. COLON (RECTAL) CANCER – All men should get screened for colorectal (colon or rectal) cancer by age 50. Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer in the United States. Men have a slightly higher risk of developing it than women.  Males with a family history of colorectal cancer should get a colonoscopy even sooner than age 50, and the screening age varies according to the family’s detailed history. There are several different tests that can help detect colon cancer, but colonoscopy remains the gold standard.

     So again men, even though you may be busy guaranteeing the success of your business and career, do not delay in caring for yourself.  And I urge you, if you are hesitant to have these screenings done, then think of your loved ones and do it for them.  Tackle your health issues with the same excellence you tackle your business issues; and be well!