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Screening Tests for Men Archive
How do I approach a new partner about STI testing?
Discussing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) at the start of a new relationship can protect both partners' health. Many STIs don't cause symptoms. Couples can test for STIs together or separately and share results before becoming intimate.
Screening tests may save lives — so when is it time to stop?
Screening tests, such as Pap smears or blood pressure checks, could save your life. But the benefits of screening tests tend to decline as we age. Learn about the limits of screening.
The latest in cancer treatments
Groundbreaking cancer treatments continuously emerge from labs and research trials. Three Harvard oncologists share what stands out in their respective fields of prostate, lung, and colon cancer, the most common cancers among men. Examples include greater roles for immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and intensive hormonal treatments.
Colon cancer screening decisions: What's the best option and when?
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, and rates are rising, particularly in younger people. It can be prevented with screening tests; there are several different types of tests that are performed in different ways, and guidelines for when testing should begin and how often people should be tested.
Home screening options for colorectal cancer
There are several at-home screening tests for colorectal cancer. The most accurate are a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) and a multitarget stool DNA (mt-sDNA) test (Cologuard), also known as a FIT-DNA test. The FIT test uses antibodies to detect blood in stool, and must be done once a year. The FIT-DNA test can identify DNA from cancer cells in the stool and also has a FIT component to look for blood. This test may be repeated once every three years.
New recommendation: Earlier colorectal cancer screening
MRI looking better for detecting prostate cancer
What to do about incidental findings
They often lead to follow-up appointments and more testing.
Modern medical imaging saves lives: it can find a blocked artery, a bulging blood vessel, or a suspicious mass. But many times, an x-ray, CT scan, MRI scan, or ultrasound exam looking for one kind of problem can reveal an anomaly that's unrelated and unexpected. Such incidental findings can lead to more testing, more medical bills, and a great deal of anxiety.
"Frequently radiologists will point out something and say it's probably benign, but recommend an MRI. Once you've been told something might be abnormal, you might feel nervous until you know what it is," says Dr. Suzanne Salamon, associate chief of gerontology at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Why you need an annual wellness visit
The once-a-year appointment can reveal vital health information for both you and your doctor.
It's usually covered by your health insurance, it doesn't take much time, and it's a great way to learn about your present and future health.
While men often call it the yearly physical, the annual ritual is better named a wellness visit or preventive health appointment. Whatever you call it, men should still have one every year as it remains an important part of primary care, according to Dr. Asaf Bitton, executive director of Ariadne Labs and primary care physician at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Should you get a home genetic test?
Direct-to-consumer tests may help predict risks to your future health. But are they worth the cost and trouble?
Image: © jxfzsy/Getty Images
Direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic test kits are a popular way to identify a person's ancestral history, but the technology may also reveal whether someone is at risk for specific diseases and conditions, like Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, and even cancer.
"More and more people want to explore their own medical data, and a DTC genetic test is one way to begin to understand some aspects of your future health," says Dr. Robert Green, a medical geneticist at the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital and director of the Genomes2People Research Program. "Yet it is important to realize that DTC testing is not the same as genetic testing in a medical context, and is not a comprehensive examination of your DNA."
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