May 18, 2024

There are a lot of things men can do without. An annual physical is not one of them.

Author: Liz Kovac

Receiving an annual physical is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Unfortunately, men are notorious for putting off this simple but key medical check-up. “There are a lot of things men can do without. An annual physical is not one of them,” said Dr. Michael DiGiovanni, family medicine practitioner at McLaren Lapeer Region – Brown City Health Center.

Here’s why everyone should take their annual physical seriously:

  • An annual physical is key in preventing future health problem.
  • An annual physical is an opportunity to detect underlying health issue you may not have realized were affecting your day-to-day life.
  • A physical strengthens your relationship between you and your doctor.
  • Your doctor can review and renew necessary medications.

A blood test is often conducted as part of an annual physical and shows your doctor areas in which you may be deficient, your potential risk factors for diseases, and more. A blood test also counts as a:

Blood pressure screening

“Your blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the wall of arteries as the heart pumps blood,” said Dr. DiGiovanni.

Blood pressure is measured by two numbers: a top number (systolic) and a bottom number (diastolic). Ideal blood pressure is 120 over 80.

If the top number is between 120 and 139, or the bottom number is between 80 and 89, you should have your blood pressure checked every year.

If the top number is 130 or greater or the bottom number is 80 or greater, schedule an appointment with your provider to learn how you can reduce your blood pressure.

Cholesterol screening

“Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in your cells and is often determined by heredity,” said Dr. DiGiovanni.

There is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol. Your body automatically makes ‘good’ cholesterol. However, poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle can cause ‘bad’ cholesterol.

Ideal cholesterol is 200 mg/dl. Cholesterol is considered high at 240 mg/dl.

Diabetes screening

This screening measures your glucose, or blood sugar, levels. Blood sugar comes from the food you eat and is your body’s main source of energy.

Blood sugar levels of 99 mg/dl or lower is normal. 100 to 125 mg/dl indicates pre-diabetes. A level of 126 mg/dl or higher means an individual is diabetic.

Heart disease screening

Having an annual blood test or electrocardiogram (EKG) is important to determine potential heart issues.

If you’re a male age 45 or older your doctor may also recommend the following screenings:

Lung cancer screening

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women in the United States. However, if detected in its early stages, lung cancer is more curable. “We know that routine screenings save lives,” said Dr. Shalini Thoutreddy, Oncologist at McLaren Lapeer Region. “Advocate for your health and talk with your primary care provider to determine if a lung cancer screening is right for you.”

Click here for more information regarding lung cancer screening eligibility. You can schedule an appointment with a lung cancer specialist by visiting

Colorectal screening

A colorectal screening is suggested for men beginning at age 45 to check for polyps or cancer. Call Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Lapeer Region at (800)527-6266 for information on how you can receive a colorectal screening kit.

Osteoporosis screening

A screening for osteoporosis is a simple x-ray that determines bone mass.

Prostate screening

A prostate screening is suggested for men beginning at the age of 45 to check for prostate cancer.

Skin cancer screening

During a skin cancer screening, a medical provider will check the skin for irregularities which may include abnormal coloration, texture or marks. If an abnormality is detected, a biopsy may be recommended.

Click here for a full list of screening and prevention services offered through Karmanos Cancer Institute.

If you need a primary care provider, call (810) 667-5714 for a physician referral. Dr. DiGiovanni is currently accepting new patients in Brown City.

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