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...

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

Mobile app aids ‘truly informed’ contraception conversations between patients, providers

Article
3/11/2019
A new app provides information about contraception with the goal of helping patients make informed decisions with their providers. The app includes a module to address the unique needs of servicewomen around deployment. (Photo by Sgt. Barry St. Clair)

Decide + Be Ready, an app that provides information on contraception for men and women, is designed to help patients make informed decisions with their providers. The app also includes a module to address the unique needs of service women around deployment and duties.

Recommended Content:

Men's Health | Women's Health | Technology

Sudden cardiac death in young athletes

Article
3/7/2019
High school basketball requires skill and rigorous training. In rare but highly publicized cases, it can also bring cardiac issues to the surface. (U.S. Army photo by Chuck Gannon)

Sudden cardiac events can occur in seemingly healthy young people in their teens or twenties, including young servicemembers

Recommended Content:

Conditions and Treatments | Health Readiness | Heart Health | Preventive Health

Taking care of your heart with TRICARE benefits

Article
2/19/2019
February is nationally recognized as American Heart Month, a time for the Department of Defense community to show its love for healthy living.

Getting preventive screenings now could save your life tomorrow

Recommended Content:

Heart Health | Preventive Health

Stroke prevention awareness

Article
2/4/2019
Stroke prevention awareness graphic (U.S. Air Force graphic)

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health

2019 TRICARE Winter Safety Kit

Infographic
1/22/2019
TRICARE Winter Safety Kit 2019

This infographic provides tips and information about staying safe and warm during a snow storm.

Recommended Content:

Winter Safety | Health Readiness | Preventive Health

TRICARE Preventive Services

Video
1/14/2019
TRICARE Preventive Services

Watch this video to learn more about all the preventive services your TRICARE benefit covers.

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Health Program | Preventive Health
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 16 - 30 Page 2 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.