Ask a man when he last had his car at the garage for a tune up and chances are he will know right off the top of his head. Ask him when he last had a medical check up and chances are he won’t remember. Every year, millions of men ignore sound medical advice and forgo the annual health check up. Why?
You have heard all of the excuses before: ‘Who has the time?’ ‘I feel fine’. ‘I never get sick’. But this carefree attitude portends a problem waiting to happen, especially for men in their 40s and 50s, who need to know and manage their health risks early in life. The fact is that a check-up can eliminate (or confirm) any niggling worries you have about your health, as well as identify risks early before they spiral out of control.
Dr. Kanin Tripitsiriwat, a wellness specialist with the Vitallife Wellness Center at Bumrungrad International Hospital, says that younger men, in particular, put off check-ups due lifestyle reasons. “Young men feel invincible, and that is understandable, but I always tell them start early to stay healthy,” he says. “Preventive medicine is THE single best investment you can make in yourself…and your future.”
So, now that you understand the need, it’s time to think about appropriate tests based on your age. Of course, your wellness specialist will know what to look for, but the checklist below might be useful to keep a personal record.
Men aged 20-40
At the bare minimum, it is recommended that men aged between 20-40 get a simple health check annually to stay current on their health. These health checks will include a routine physical exam, vital signs measurement, blood analysis and any specific tests for things like sexually transmitted diseases. Men in this age range should also consider genetic testing to identify prevalence or predisposition to lifestyle related diseases that may crop up later in life.
Men aged 40-50
Men in their 40s should bump up their medical check ups to include a more comprehensive battery of blood tests and tumor markets for cancer. Men within this age band should be vigilant at protecting their health and guarding against any issue which may lead to chronic disease down the road. Doctors will typically screen for heart disease and other types of cancer, depending on family history and lifestyle. Prostate exams and colon screening are strongly advised for men with a family history of cancer. This is also a good time to look into preventative therapies, like micronutrient and hormone levels, which start fading in middle age.
Dr. Kanin strongly advises men to look at the wellness side of these check ups and not just the disease side. “My sense is that men like to ignore or minimize their health issues because it makes them look or feel weak,” he explains. “I come at it from a different angle and recommend they look on how to OPTIMIZE their health and feel better and stronger.”
Men aged 50-70
Men over 50 are more susceptible to a wide range of age related health problems, and need to take their health seriously. A comprehensive medical examination and wellness evaluation will include a thorough physical exam, full blood chemistry, heart function, tumor markers, hormone and micronutrient levels, bone density and lifestyle assessment.
For men in this age band, poor health maintenance habits can leave them exposed to illness that can quickly spiral out of control and jeopardize lives and livelihoods. Dr. Kanin strongly warns men not to be complacent. His advice is simple and straightforward. “I tell men that this is a make or break time in their lives, because so much is at risk. They are in the highest income earning years, they have built up saving and are typically putting kids through college. It’s a bad time to be sick.”
Men aged 70 and up
More of the same thing for men above 70, which means annual physical exams, annual electrocardiograms (and other specialized heart tests), cholesterol readings and continued testing for common cancers in men such as colon, prostate and testicular. Depending on risk factors and symptoms, osteoporosis screening and diagnostic blood tests are also a good idea.
Speaking from the Vitallife Wellness Center at Bumrungrad Hospital, Dr. Kanin says “Older men are generally more aware of the health risks they face, and as a result, come more regularly”, he says. “Those under 50, however, are more likely to visit a doctor only when they get sick, but it is important to diagnose things like high blood pressure, cancer and blood diseases early”.
The Vitallife Wellness Center offers full body wellness and longevity assessments for men and women.
The Vitallife Wellness Center located on the campus of Bumrungrad International Hospital is a global leader in the provision of scientifically-based integrated medicine. Its programs are managed and run by US Board Certified doctors specializing in the center’s Future Health concept, covering predictive, preventive, regenerative, and revitalizing health care.
It is the first medical wellness center in Asia to be accredited by the World Council on Clinical Accreditation (awarded in November 2007). It is also the first compounding pharmacy in Southeast Asia.
Vitallife is the first wellness center in the world to be accredited to DNV.GL’s International Accreditation Standard for Outpatient Specialist Centers. DNV.GL is a globally respected quality accreditation organization renowned for integrity in certification, standards development and risk management in many sectors including healthcare. DNV.GL International Healthcare Accreditation is based on standards approved by the U.S. Government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.
Vitallife is a 100% owned subsidiary of the publicly traded Bumrungrad International Hospital since 2001.
For more information please contact:
Vitallife Wellness Center 2
68 Bumrungrad International Tower Building 10th Floor,
Soi Sukhumvit 1, Klongtoey Nua, Wattana,
Monday to Friday : 08.00 – 19.00 hrs.
Saturday to Sunday: 08.00 – 16.00 hrs.
Nearest BTS: Phloen Chit