Back to Top Skip to main content

Men’s preventive health screenings essential for readiness and a lifetime of good health

Hospitalman Payton Dupuis, a native of Mill City, Oregon, checks veteran Joseph Levette’s blood pressure at Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s internal medicine clinic. “Men’s health is a vital part of the mission,” stated Dupuis. “We need a healthy workforce to succeed.” (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel) Hospitalman Payton Dupuis, a native of Mill City, Oregon, checks veteran Joseph Levette’s blood pressure at Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s internal medicine clinic. “Men’s health is a vital part of the mission,” stated Dupuis. “We need a healthy workforce to succeed.” (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel)

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Men's Health

Physicians can provide checklists that inform male patients of important health screenings for their 40s, 50s, and beyond. These checklists make for a good start, but age is only one factor physicians consider.

According to Col. John Barrett, the Army senior service leader and associate professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, primary care providers review literature around a variety of conditions and apply evidence-based protocols specific to each patient.

“Their recommendations are based on patient health status, symptoms, and risk factors,” explained Barrett.

Health care providers consult the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, or USPSTF, an independent panel of volunteer experts in disease prevention and evidence-based medicine. “The USPSTF serves as the standard for clinical preventive services recommendations,” said Barrett. “This group is at the forefront of recommending evidence-based screenings that encompass conditions and risk factors for those conditions.” Medical societies, such as the American Academy of Family Physicians, generally follow USPSTF guidelines, and the Military Health System is one of many federal partners.

Barrett used USPSTF guidelines to create a chart with case studies of adult male patients in different life stages. Said Barrett, “The chart’s three subjects are a 24-year-old active duty soldier, a 44-year-old military retiree, and a 66-year-old contemplating retirement from his post-military career. The chart should raise men’s awareness of their own health conditions and screenings that their primary care physician might suggest.”

One of the recommended screenings is a colorectal cancer screening. According to Cmdr. David You, the U.S. Navy gastroenterology specialty leader and a gastroenterologist at Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago, Illinois, this is important because men have a higher incidence of colon cancer. They are also more likely to develop colon polyps that can later turn into colon cancer if not removed. “If you are a 50-year-old male with no family history or risk factors, that’s the recommended age to get your first colonoscopy,” said You.

Critical risk factors include family history – if a parent or sibling has been diagnosed with colon cancer. For men with a first-degree family history of colon cancer, which means a parent has been diagnosed with the disease, screenings usually begin at age 40 and sometimes earlier if the family member was diagnosed before age 60, explained You. Furthermore, “Due to colon cancer diagnoses increasing in young men over the last 10 years, even without family history of colon cancer, some medical specialty groups advocate beginning screenings at age 45, in particular if you are African-American, since they have higher rates of colon cancer,” said You.

You’s patients echo the often-heard complaint about a colonoscopy: The preparation for the test is the worst part. It consists of nothing but clear liquids the day before the procedure and drinking a high volume of a prescribed liquid to clean the gastrointestinal tract starting the night before the procedure. As for the procedure itself, You said, “Often I hear, ‘That’s it?’ from my patients. Under light sedation, the procedure can be uneventful and it is truly the easiest part of the entire process.”

Less-invasive tests are available, including a yearly test called FIT (fecal immunochemical test) that looks for hidden blood in the stool. “These tests screen for colon cancer,” said You, “but if the results are positive for colon cancer indicators, you’ll still need a colonoscopy. The good news is that if your colonoscopy results are normal, your next test will be in 10 years if you have no family history or other risk factors.”

You explained that good health habits lower the risk of developing colon polyps. “Eat more fruits and vegetables, especially berries and leafy greens, keep your weight down and exercise, even one hour per week,” he suggested, adding that fiber is a key dietary addition. “Aim for 30 grams of fiber per day,” he said. “An apple has four and a bowl of bran cereal has 15, so getting to 30 grams isn’t as difficult as it may sound.”

You also may be interested in...

For healthy older adults, new shingles vaccine is worth the wait

Article
8/16/2019
A pharmacist prepares a dose of the shingles vaccine to be administered at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital's Town Center Pharmacy, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. (U.S. Army photo by Maria Yager)

Availability has improved across the MHS, experts say

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health

Three steps for a successful end-of-summer blow out

Article
8/14/2019
Marine Gunnery Sgt. Mario Cardenas, with Provost Marshal's Office, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, prepares lunch for the H&HS Barbecue Cook-off at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Andrew Hiatt)

In just three stages, any military family can have a fun-filled welcome party for fall

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Summer Safety

Get kids ready for back to school with preventive health care

Article
8/8/2019
Don’t wait to take command of your children’s health. Prioritize preventive exams and vaccinations before the school year begins. Preventive services, routine immunizations, and health screenings are the best ways to make sure your kids are healthy and ready to hit the books. (U.S. Air Force photo by L.A. Shively)

Preventive services, routine immunizations, and health screenings are the best ways to make sure your kids are healthy and ready to hit the books

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Children's Health

Vaccines: A public health success story

Article
8/7/2019
Tech Sgt. Joseph Anthony, medical technician with the 911th Aeromedical Staging Squadron, administers a vaccination to a member of the U.S. Army Reserve’s 336 Engineering Company Command and Control, Chemical Radiological and Nuclear Response Enterprise Team at the Pittsburgh International Airport Air Reserve Station, Pennsylvania, April 11, 2019. Department of Defense-issued vaccinations are used to prevent a variety of diseases that military members may encounter in the course of their duties. (U.S. Air Force photo by Joshua J. Seybert)

Maintaining a medically ready force is just one of many reasons to vaccinate

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Immunizations | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

The kissing bug and Chagas disease

Article
8/1/2019
Adult kissing bugs are mostly active in the warmer months, from May to October. Kissing bugs develop into adults after a series of five life stages as nymphs, and both nymphs and adults feed on blood. Kissing bugs feed on humans as well as wild and domestic animals and pets. They can live between one to two years. (Photo by Texas.gov)

Chagas disease comes from a single-celled parasite that lives in the digestive tract of many species of kissing bugs

Recommended Content:

Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Preventive Health

Tick Facts: Dangers at the height of tick season

Article
7/31/2019
A tick like this one, seen at 10x magnification, can spread a number of dangerous pathogens during the warm-weather months. (Photo by Cornel Constantin)

Many diseases are transferred to humans by ticks — Lyme is the most common, but several others, described here, are worth knowing about

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Tick-Borne Illnesses | Health Readiness | Preventive Health | Public Health

Zapping mosquitoes from the inside out

Article
7/29/2019
While chemical mosquito population control measures have been used with some degree of success, they are toxic to other insect populations and to the health of humans. A different angle of defense has emerged, which is genetic modification of the mosquito itself, making it transgenic. Transgenic mosquitoes are unable to transmit a pathogen, such as malaria, due to their altered genetic makeup. (DoD photo)

Mosquitoes aren’t just annoying at summer barbecues. In many parts of the world, they carry pathogens for Zika, dengue, yellow fever and malaria, the most devastating of mosquito-borne diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 440,000 people died in sub-Saharan Africa in 2016 from malaria, contracted from the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. Protecting U.S. military personnel who continue to serve in this part of world is critical.

Recommended Content:

Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Mosquito-Borne Illnesses | Zika Virus | Preventing Mosquito-Borne Illnesses | Preventive Health | Innovation | Medical Research and Development | Deployment Health

2019 Men's Health Case Studies

Publication
6/27/2019

This chart summarizes case studies of adult male patients in different life stages

Recommended Content:

Men's Health

Sexually transmitted infections on the rise in military

Article
6/26/2019
Some sexually transmitted infections are on the rise in the military. To increase awareness, members of Team McConnell attend a briefing on STIs at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexi Myrick)

What you need to know to stay safe

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Men's Health | Women's Health

Mail-in colon cancer screening may end colonoscopy for most

Article
6/19/2019
Army Medicine logo

The best test is the one the patient will do

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Men's Health | Women's Health

Experts: Carbs are not the enemy in health, wellness battle

Article
6/18/2019
Navy Ensign Ted Johnson completed the Marine Corps Marathon while following a ketogenic diet, but now he's back on carbs. (Courtesy photo)

Shift focus away from any specific macronutrient, experts say

Recommended Content:

Men's Health | Nutrition

Nine tips for Men's Health

Article
6/12/2019
Many of the major health risks that men face can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle, and a healthy lifestyle can start with one small choice.

Many major health risks can be prevented by lifestyle choices

Recommended Content:

Men's Health

Take Command of your health during Men’s Health Month

Article
6/6/2019
Take Command of Your Health

Men’s Health Month is a great time to focus on taking preventive steps and making small changes to your lifestyle

Recommended Content:

Men's Health

A healthy lifestyle is integral to achieving my career goals

Article
6/4/2019
Petty Officer 3rd Class Logan Talbott gets exercise and fresh air when taking dog Odin on long walks. Here, they're at Oceanside Pier in California. (Courtesy photo)

Men's Health Month reminds me to go beyond box-checking

Recommended Content:

Men's Health

Is exercise that’s too intensive resulting in your angina?

Article
4/8/2019
Navy Hospitalman Kiana Bartonsmith checks a patient’s heart rate at Naval Branch Health Clinic Kings Bay in Georgia, one of Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s six health care facilities. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel)

Angina is experienced as a feeling of tightness or pressure in the chest that can also radiate out to your neck, jaw, back or shoulders

Recommended Content:

Conditions and Treatments | Health Readiness | Heart Health | Preventive Health
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 6

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.