Men aren’t often proactive in taking care of their health needs and the women in their lives may be the ones who push them to get the medical care they require. But, if you’re a Black man and want to stay healthy, it’s imperative that you take charge of your health and make sure you get a physical annually and these specific screenings as recommended. In doing so, it can make a huge difference in your longevity and good health.
Here are five health tests every Black man needs:
Prostate Cancer Screening
According to the Journal of Urology, Black men have the highest rate of prostate cancer and are less likely to survive this disease compared to other racial/ethnic groups in the U.S. Black men are twice as likely to die versus their white counterparts. But, prostate cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence. You can have access to an early diagnosis through PSA screening, which can help you lower your risk of prostate cancer and decline your chances of losing your life to this disease.
Since the risk is higher for Black men, prostate cancer screening is something that should be done sooner versus later. According to Dr. Fleming of Virginia Oncology Associates informed providers must know that Black men should begin screening at age 40 for early detection.
According to a NAACP healthcare fact sheet, heart disease is the leading cause of death for Black Americans. While we are only 13 percent of the population, we are twice as likely to die from heart disease.
Black men are at a higher risk (30 percent more) of dying from heart disease versus non-Hispanic white males. Since men on average die 10 years younger than women, it’s important to take heart tests so you can know your risk factors.
One way to do so is by taking your blood pressure. Normal blood pressure is 115 over 70. If your blood pressure is more than 130 over 80, this is a red flag that something is wrong. You can take this test at home.
Home readings are often considered more reliable. The second test you should take is for cholesterol levels. This test will factor in your blood fats and blood sugar and determine your good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol as well as triglycerides.
You can also perform a tape measure test. This test can be a higher indicator of your risk than what may come up when you weigh yourself on a scale. If you are 40 inches or more around your waist, this is a risk factor for heart disease. Starting your heart tests at age 18 is important because this is the leading cause of death for young men other than