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Dr Bryan Betty: Men's health and the importance of a check up

Dr Bryan Betty,
Publish Date
Sat, 6 Jul 2024, 1:23pm
Getty Images
Getty Images

Dr Bryan Betty: Men's health and the importance of a check up

Dr Bryan Betty,
Publish Date
Sat, 6 Jul 2024, 1:23pm

Men’s Health Week took place in June. It's an important topic as men often consider themselves bullet proof, and think they don’t need to see the doctor. 


So why is men’s health important? 

There are some underlying statistics that are important to reflect on: 

- Overseas study: men are twice as likely never to have visited the doctor. Three times as likely not to have visited GP in 5 year period. 
- They die 3.5 years younger, on average, than women. 
- They develop heart disease 10 years younger than women. 
- They develop diabetes younger. 

It’s a concern! 


Why should they visit the GP? 

There are hidden risks that can affect health that you won’t know about until you have a regular ‘warrant of fitness’ check-up: 


-Increases risk of heart disease. 
-Only detected through a blood test. 

Diabetes and blood sugar: 

-Need to be checked from age of 35. 
-Sugars can creep up men and damage the heart, kidneys, and nervous system. 
-Only detected through a blood test. 

Blood Pressure, the hidden killer: 

- Can feel perfectly OK with raised blood pressure. 
- Puts pressure on the heart leading to heart attacks and increases risk stroke. 
- Only detected through a blood pressure check. 


What other issues should men be concerned about? 

The prostate: 

- From the age of 50 should be seeing your doctor to discuss a prostate check. 
- Simple blood test and slightly uncomfortable rectal exam! 
- Early detection of prostate cancer leads to early cure! 

Bowel cancer:

- From the age of 60 
- Two yearly bowel cancer screening. 
- Early detection of bowel cancer leads to cure! 

In addition, if you have been about in the sun (especially farmers) a regular skin check for early signs of skin cancer is necessary. 

If you're feeling depressed, irritable, or stressed talking to your GP is a good first step to help. 


When should men we go for a check-up? 

- Definitely from the age of 50 yearly check-up is important. 
- Prior to that 2 to 5 years from the age of 30. 

With all these things early detection saves lives, and detecting problems early means major health issues can be reduced by early intervention with lifestyle, medication and occasionally specialist intervention. 



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