The emphasis on routine check-ups and self-care rituals have primarily carted to those of female origin. Methodically, women have been passing down get well soon antidotes to sisters, daughters, cousins, and aunties who all too well understand the importance of taking a break.
Sadly, men, proximately African American men fall by the wayside in regards to general health practices and positive affirmations of happiness, self-worth, and wellness.
“Men aren’t judged by whether they are healthy; they are judged by whether they contribute financially to their households, pay child support and are active participants in their families and communities,”
Derek M. Griffith, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University’s Center for Research on Men’s Health
Black men have been carrying the weight of the world without a much-needed trip to the doctors. As disgusting as it sounds, many black men do not know where to turn in times of physical dismay. Often times, black men look towards the women in they’re lives to tend to weaken aliments.
It’s disheartening to know that African-American men are also 30 percent more likely to die from heart disease than White males. With that, 36 percent of black men are also obese comparatively to whites. So not only aren’t you taking care of yourself, but your fat, dehydrated, and will die before you had a real chance of living.
If this isn’t enough to have you booking your next doctors appointment, here are a few important health screenings that black men should be inquiring about throughout each stage of black manhood:
If you are a black man between 20-39 years old, you should be checking your BMI (body mass index) at least once a year. Due to higher rates of heart disease and high blood pressure in African Americans, it is important for men to be aware of BMI regardless of how regularly you work out.
Another component to fitness that black men often overlook is their sexual/reproductive health. You should be screened for syphilis, chlamydia, HIV as well as other STDs annually, depending on your sexual lifestyle.
It is also recommended that you have your testicles examined for testicular cancer during your periodic medical exams. For those looking to start a family, male infertility tests can be done to examine your sperm and seminal fluid.
During this stage of your life, you should be acquainted with your primary health physician. Now is the time where you want to start getting screened for cancers (colorectal, prostate).
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer among African-Americans. Death rates are 52 percent higher in Black men than White men.
It is recommended that black men start getting screened at 45 or as early as 40, especially if there is a family history of colon cancer, and then every two five to years after first initial screenings.
If you’re over 70 and have symptoms of heart disease, you want to get an EGK/ECG (echocardiogram) annually. EKGs are quick, safe, and painless. With this test, your doctor will be able to detect abnormalities within the heart that may be an indicator of poor blood flow/heart disease.
Another quick and easy test that African American men over fifty should undergo is a bone density and lung cancer screening. The ACS reports that when detected at a localized stage, the five-year relative survival rate among Blacks for lung cancer is 47 percent.
Black men need to see a physician, regardless of whether they are feeling ill. If you consider yourself a responsible man, why not be susceptive to treating the entire body? Mind-body and soul.