Last Update on December 12, 2014 // Written by Hank No Comments

Men are notoriously secretive about their feelings and reluctant to talk about their health. It's no wonder that charities have started campaigns like Movember and Feeling Nuts to get men talking about testicular cancer and other male cancers. Most people feel at least a little awkward talking about their health, especially when it comes to intimate areas. But even if it's embarrassing talking about your prostate or your testicles, being open about your health is important. You don't need to shout about it in the streets, but performing checks yourself and visiting your doctor could help you to catch problems sooner. Plus, it's always better to put your mind at rest than to convince yourself you have something terrible, thanks to Dr. Google. Here are the top reasons that men should have regular health checks, especially when they reach a certain age.

Testicular Cancer

This one is for you to do at home. Unlike many other cancers, testicular cancer is more common in younger men, between the ages of 20 and 39. If you catch it early, it has high rates of successful treatment. You should check your testicles for lumps or irregularities regularly - you can even get someone to help you out if you want! If you notice anything unusual, visit your doctor to get it checked out. Don't panic and assume it's cancer, however, as it could be a number of things. And try not to feel embarrassed about talking to your doctor. Remember that they've seen it all before. 3

Image by National Cancer Institute

Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

As you get older, you increase your risk of high (or low) blood pressure and high cholesterol. When you visit your doctor, they will check your blood pressure to make sure it isn't too high or low. High blood pressure, called hypertension, could increase your risk of further problems, such as stroke, heart attack, and kidney disease. Irregular heartbeat symptoms, such as dizziness and palpitations, could be a sign of high blood pressure. Hypertension puts strain on the heart and can cause arrhythmias.

Prostate Checks

No man wants to think about having his prostate checked, but once you reach your 50s (possibly 40s for some ethnic groups) it's a vital part of your health check-up. Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer. The doctor checks to see if your prostate is enlarged, which may indicate cancer but could also be benign. There is also a blood test, the prostate specific antigen (PSA) which can be helpful in detecting prostate cancer. However, this test is controversial, and you should ask your doctor if they recommend it.

Eye Checkups

Regular eye examinations are probably far less intimidating for most men than other more intimate health checks. You only need to have one every two years, unless you notice a deterioration in your eyesight or experience headaches. If you currently have problems with your sight, you should go once a year. As you get older, you're more at risk of problems such as glaucoma, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  

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