Annual wellness examinations are essential to verify the overall health for men. Even when a man feels healthy, it is imperative to get a wellness exam at any age for Dr. Ward to:
- Review health history.
- Assess vital signs.
- Review patient lifestyle.
- Screen for disease.
- Update vaccinations.
- Assess the risk of potential medical problems.
- Discuss any health issues that may be surfacing.
Dr. Ward has always been an advocate of preventative healthcare, which is primarily done through wellness checkups also referred to as annual physical examinations. Through these check-ups, an active lifestyle is always encouraged.
Dr. Ward’s “Lets get healthy together” program has an entire section of this website dedicated to provide healthy recipes and exercises to inspire patients to live healthy.
TYPICAL EXAMINATION FOR MEN
In a routine wellness checkup, Dr. Ward will take the time to listen to any concerns and also assess:
- General Appearance: By talking with a patient, Dr. Ward will gather a lot of information. He will assess mental quickness/memory, skin appearance, balance and coordination to determine if risk factors for disease exist.
- Vital Signs: Vital signs include blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate, and body temperature. He will look for signs of hypertension and other risk factors for disease.
- Heart Exam: By listening to a patient’s heart with a stethoscope, Dr. Ward may detect an irregular heartbeat, heart murmur or other symptoms of heart disease.
- Lung Exam: Dr. Ward will also use a stethoscope to listen for signs of lung disease. If he hears wheezing, crackling, or diminished breath sounds, he may want to explore the lungs further.
- Head and Neck Exam: The throat and tonsils will be checked for normalcy as well as the ears, nose, sinuses, eyes, lymph nodes, thyroid, and carotid arteries. In case of abnormally, Dr. Ward may continue testing, like checking blood hormone levels to identify thyroid problems.
- Abdominal Exam: Dr. Ward will use a stethoscope again to listen for bowel sounds, and palpitate the abdomen and liver to detect any tenderness. Dr. Ward may also tap the abdomen to see if there is a presence of abdominal fluid
- Neurological Exam: Nerves, muscle strength, reflexes, balance, and the patient’s mental state may also be assessed with a neurological exam. This may include tapping just under the kneecap with a special device to verify normal reflexes.
- Dermatological Exam: A closer look at a patient’s skin and nails will help Dr. Ward determine if there are dermatological problems or a manifestation of disease somewhere else in the body.
- Extremities Exam: A patient’s pulse is checked in the arms and legs and further examination of the patient’s joints can assess abnormalities.
- Testicular Exam: An annual physical may include an evaluation of the testicles to look for any lumps, tenderness, or changes in size. A growth on a testicle will need evaluation to determine if the mass is cancerous.
- Hernia Exam: To check for weakness in the abdominal wall between the intestines and the scrotum, a hernia exam is routinely performed.
- Penis Exam: To scan for sexually transmitted infections, the penis may be evaluated to identify the presence of warts or ulcers.
Wellness exams may vary based on age groups.
MEN 18 – 39
Men between the ages of 18 and 39 often feel healthy and tend to skip their annual exams. Unfortunately, skipping these exams during this age period precludes Dr. Ward’s ability to prevent disease. For example, identifying elevating blood-sugar can prevent diabetes through early treatment. Identifying increasing cholesterol levels can also be treated to prevent future heart problems.
While men in this age group may not feel like they need it, an annual exam is an essential part of overall healthcare today and for the future.
MEN 40 – 64
Men between the ages of 40 and 64 become more susceptible to disease depending on lifestyle, heredity, and age factors.
At age 45 – 50, men may receive a prostate examination to identify potential prostate problems. Aside from skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men. When identified and treated, the 10-year survival rate of prostate cancer is 98% according to the American Cancer Society. Treatment is only possible if detected through annual wellness examinations. Early detection saves lives!
Men at age 50 will be encouraged to screen for colorectal cancer with a colonoscopy. This is also a well-known preventative screening test that will identify colorectal cancer and other risk factors of disease. Again, early detection saves lives!
Also at age 50, screening for osteoporosis also becomes an important point of conversation if the risk factors of long-term steroid use, low body weight, smoking, or heavy alcohol use exist. Dr. Ward will discuss any family history of osteoporosis and potential treatments if signs of osteoporosis exist.
Men 65 +
For men who are older than 65, there is heightened awareness of potential diseases. The patient’s heart, lungs, blood pressure, colon, prostate, blood-sugar and bones will all be carefully reviewed and compared with medications that may be prescribed. Looking at a lifetime of healthy or unhealthy habits, along with current lifestyle, Dr. Ward will determine if additional testing may be necessary or if medications may be prescribed.
Health maintenance at this time of life is a critical consideration to extend and sustain life. Depending on the health of the patient, more frequent visits may be necessary to address more serious matters. Dr. Ward is exceptional with his care for seniors.
Although there are no standard laboratory tests during a wellness check, some tests may be ordered if there are concerns noted during the exam. Routine tests may include:
- Complete Blood Count (CBC): This test is used to measure several components of the blood, including red blood cells, to detect disorders, including anemia, infection and leukemia.
- Chemistry Panel (CP): This groups of tests help evaluate general health. Among other things, the body’s electrolyte balance will be reviewed along with the status of several major body organs.
- Urinalysis (UA): Urinalysis is a test that evaluates urine. The test is used to assess disorders, such as urinary tract infection, kidney disease and diabetes.
- Lipid Panel: The lipid panel tests cholesterol levels and is recommended every 4 to 6 years, according to the American Heart Association. Dr. Ward may order them more frequently if there are specific symptoms or risk factors.
- Blood Sugar: If a patient has risk factors for diabetes, a blood sugar test will likely be ordered. At age 45, blood sugar tests may be ordered more often.
- PSA Test: This is a blood test that screens for the prostate-specific antigen, PSA, a protein found in the prostate. This is a test used to identify prostate cancer.
Dr. Ward provides annual wellness exams for men to address overall health concerns as well as those specific to men. While men under the age of 40 are notorious for skipping annual wellness exams because they feel good, preventative care is essential during this time to thwart disease in their later years.
Men over the age of 40 may begin to experience health related difficulties and Dr. Ward can help navigate through this time where disease may start to develop and become a more serious threat. Annual wellness examinations are the best preventative solution to maintain health.
If you haven’t had a wellness exam for a while, “MAN-UP” and give Dr. Ward a call to schedule an appointment.