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25 June, 2020

Essential Men’s Health Screenings

Essential Men’s Health Screenings

Life expectancy for U.S. men slipped for a third straight year, according to new data from the National Center for Health Statistics. While the study attributes various causes for this decline, such as drug use and rising income inequality, there are still positive steps men can take to better their health and live longer lives. In addition to various lifestyle changes, a series of simple imaging exams can detect diseases in their early stages when they are most treatable.

Prostate MRI

Since its introduction in 2009, the prostate MRI has played a crucial role in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. Creating detailed images of the prostate gland, the prostate MRI allows doctors to determine the stage of a prostate cancer and estimate how quickly it will grow. With this information, physicians can recommend an optimal course of treatment.

Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of death among men across all racial and ethnic groups and the second most common cancer in men. Men who are 45 to 50 years old should discuss prostate screening with their doctor to see whether they might benefit from prostate MRI.

Low-Dose CT Lung Screening

Used to check for lung cancer, low-dose CT lung screenings are performed with low-dose x-rays, which minimize possible side effects to lung tissue.

Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer in America, killing over 300,000 people each year. Lung cancer is more prevalent in men than women, mostly due to higher smoking rates. For men with a history of smoking, low-dose CT lung screening is a valuable tool and has been approved by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for those patients who meet certain criteria.

CT Calcium Scoring

Heart disease is the most common cause of death among American men. Calcified plaque in the arteries supplying blood to the heart is a major cause of coronary heart disease and fatal heart attacks. CT calcium scoring is a type of x-ray exam that checks for calcified plaque and enables doctors to develop appropriate treatment plans.

CT calcium scoring is recommended for men over 45 who meet certain criteria including family history of heart disease, smoking and diabetes, among others.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Scan

The aortic artery is the largest blood vessel in the body and runs from the heart through the abdomen, supplying oxygen and nutrients to most of the major organs. If the artery becomes enlarged or swollen, there is a possibility it may rupture and cause an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Men suffer four times as many aortic aneurysms as women, simply due to their biology.

The abdominal aortic aneurysm scan assesses symptomatic patients by evaluating the health of their aortic artery. Scans are performed with ultrasound, CT or MRI, depending on the patient’s condition. The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommends men aged 65-75 with a history of smoking receive at least one abdominal aortic aneurysm scan to ensure their health. Men 65-75 with no history of smoking should talk to their doctor to see whether they might benefit from an aortic scan.

DXA Scan

A DXA scan is used to measure bone loss and diagnose osteoporosis. While osteoporosis is more common in women than men, men tend to suffer more serious consequences from the condition if they do have it. Not only do men experience hip fractures at a younger age, but they are also more likely to die following a hip fracture than women.

Men with risk factors such as previous bone fractures, rheumatoid arthritis, history of smoking, low BMI – among others – should discuss DXA with their doctors to see if they might benefit from the screening.

Living Healthy

The best way for men to protect their health is to be proactive – eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly and discuss screenings with their doctor. Screenings help manage health conditions influenced by age, biology and lifestyle.

RadNet imaging centers provide comprehensive screening services for men. We strive to provide all our patients with the most accurate information and advanced technology so that they may address concerns at any stage. Our goal is help you stay informed and live a longer, healthier life.

 

  1. Prostate Cancer Foundation: What is Prostate Cancer?
  2. CDC: Men and Heart Disease Fact Sheet
  3. Men’s Health Network: Men’s Health Facts
  4. U.S. Preventative Services Task Force: Final Recommendation Statement Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening
  5. Khaled A. Alswat. (2017) "Gender Disparities in Osteoporosis." Journal of Vascular Surgery, 9(5), 382–387.
  6. AAFP: DEXA for Osteoporosis
25 June, 2020

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