Your guide to staying on top of your health, through every stage of life.
Even if you don’t feel the need to see a GP annually, these are the IMPORTANT tests for men that you don’t want to skip… the good news is some are even government subsidised!
Skin checks – everyone should get these done frequently especially if you have moles and freckles!
Men’s full health check (45 – 49) Covered by Medicare if you could be at risk of developing a chronic disease
- If you are aged in this bracket your GP would like to see you soon to have this highly important ‘free’ screening assessment. Please contact your SmartClinics GP today. The goal of this appointment is to minimise your risk of developing chronic disease later in life.
Bowel cancer screening (Anyone 50-74) Covered by Medicare
- If you see blood in your stool at any time, this could be an early indicator of bowel cancer and you should see your GP immediately. Currently, Medicare cardholders between the ages of 50 and 74 will receive a free at-home bowel screening kit in the mail every 2 years. If you don’t receive yours, call 1800 627 701 and one will be sent to you.
Prostate cancer screening (Men 50+) Covered by Medicare
- The most common way to screen for prostate cancer is by taking the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. Medicare will cover you for one PSA test per year if you don’t have a history of cancer, or multiple PSA tests per year if you do. Please talk to your doctor to find out if PSA testing is right for you.
Cholesterol test (Everyone 20+)
- Your GP can arrange a cholesterol test and use the results to advise you about heart health and a healthy lifestyle.
Eye test (Everyone)
- Bad vision can affect anyone from young kids to pensioners, and that’s why anyone with a Medicare card is entitled to an eye exam every three years at the least.
Genetic screening (Everyone whose close family has a history of genetic disease)
- Many diseases are hereditary in nature, and that makes it possible to test your genes to see if you are at risk for one of these conditions. Medicare will cover genetic testing if other tests point to you possibly having a genetic condition or if you are a first-degree relative of someone else with the condition.
Hearing test (Pensioners)
- Since age is such a major factor in hearing loss, pensioners have access to a wide range of government-subsidised services from hearing tests to hearing aids to follow-up support through the Department of Health’s Hearing Services Program. A few other groups can also access these services, including members of the Australian Defence Force and people receiving the Centrelink Sickness Allowance.
Are you over 40?
Men have specific health needs that require attention at various points throughout their lifetime. Unfortunately, many Australian men do not take the time required to take care of themselves by visiting the GP as often as they should. Many deny feeling unwell and would prefer to ‘shrug it off’ rather than talk about it with their doctor.
It might be time you had a general check-up. Between 45 and 64 years of age is prime time for determining patient risk factors and offering screening for health conditions. Mental wellbeing is just as important as physical problems, and they can occur at the same time. Planned health checks in general practice of middle-aged adults have been demonstrated to improve the management of smoking, nutrition, alcohol, and physical activity (SNAP) behavioural risk factors, screening for bowel cancer, and hyperlipidaemia (high cholesterol).
Additional areas that may be addressed during a men’s health check include:
- skin checks;
- mental health;
- diabetes risk assessment;
- erectile/ sexual dysfunction; and
- prostate checks.
Need some help? “Free” sessions are available.
A message for all men: most ignored problems don’t go away on their own. Many men have found it a challenge to stay mentally and physically healthy during COVID-19. You are not alone. Our doctors are here to help. Talking to your GP is a great place to start.
Click here for a list of SmartClinics doctors who have a special interest in general men’s health.
You can get up to 20 Medicare-subsidised private sessions with a range of mental health experts to help you through a rough patch.
It’s OK to ask for help or advice from your GP if you are feeling anxious, stressed, depressed or concerned about something.
Your doctor will help you decide where you want to be and help work out a plan to get you there with a personalised mental health care plan. This may include access to private psychology or social work sessions in a discrete setting. Most ignored problems don’t go away on their own – reach out to our support network – we are here for you so let’s work on a plan together with practical guidance, professional advice and treatment. Call your local SmartClinics Medical Centre today and ask to see a doctor about a mental health care plan.
Ever noticed blood in your poop?
Dr Ian Walsh explains what blood in your poop could mean. CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT
While it may not be Bowel Cancer, this cancer is Australia’s 2nd deadliest cancer so don’t take the risk. Make sure you see your GP if you notice blood in the loo to rule it out. If found early, bowel cancer is easily treatable.
Click here to make an appointment to see a SmartClinics doctor near you.
Considering the snip?
Did you know that many SmartClinics GPs are also very experienced in performing vasectomies? All of our vasectomy doctors have many years of experience with the vasectomy procedure, and you can feel safe and comfortable knowing you are in the right hands. For more information about a vasectomy procedure, and the benefits of having it performed at a SmartClinics vasectomy clinic, click here.
What about Prostate Checks?
In 2013 prostate cancer accounted for the second-highest number of deaths from cancer among males in Australia. It is important for men to realise that there’s often no signs or symptoms of early prostate cancer. Hence, talking to your GP about the potential benefit of prostate screening is an important step. Early detection of potentially aggressive prostate cancer offers the best chance of a positive outcome. If cancer is diagnosed, it can be monitored under the guidance of a urologist, which offers us the best opportunity to determine the best management plan.
Just like a well-tuned ute, the male body needs to have regular maintenance and servicing to avoid having a breakdown or burnout. Work, bills, and family pressure can trigger a range of health issues, mentally and physically. The best tip we can offer you is to find a doctor whom you feel comfortable with and have a yearly health check and a chat about your overall happiness, health, and fitness levels (even if you don’t feel like there is anything obviously ‘wrong’).
So, if you haven’t seen a GP in a year, please don’t keep putting it off. Do yourself a favour and see a doctor today for a general health check-up!
*WWW.ABS.GOV.AU MENS HEALTH 4102.0 – Australian Social Trends, Jun 2010