In order to stay healthy and active, men should stay on top of their health screenings for common conditions like heart disease, prostate problems and colorectal cancer.

Screening is readily available and highly effective at catching problems early and even preventing serious illness.

All men should talk to their health care provider to learn more about their specific screening needs.

When men worry about their health, heart disease, prostate problems and colorectal cancer are big areas of concern.

These are serious conditions that require a serious approach – but the good news is, screening is easy, readily available and highly effective.


Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men in the United States, but it can often be managed or prevented.  Showkat Haji, MD, a cardiologist at Regional One Health, uses screening to diagnose issues early and help patients through medication, lifestyle changes, etc.

Dr. Haji said all men should have blood pressure and cholesterol screenings at their annual primary care visits.

“If these tests are normal and you don’t have symptoms or risk factors, you won’t need more testing,” he said. “Patients with high blood pressure or cholesterol, symptoms like chest pain or shortness of breath, and risk factors like obesity, diabetes or family history may be referred to a cardiologist. We offer in-depth screening using X-ray, CT, MRI, angiogram and more.”

Routine health screenings like annual blood pressure checks can help men avoid serious problems and improve their overall health.

Each patient’s screening plan is based on their symptoms and risk factors.

For example, calcium scoring tests use CT to look for deposits that can cause clogged arteries, electrocardiogram shows if your heart beats effectively and if you have rhythm abnormalities, and echocardiogram uses ultrasound to evaluate problems with your heart valves. Stress testing tests the heart at work, so you exercise while the doctor measures blood pressure and heart rate.

Cardiologists also have tests for specific conditions like atrial fibrillation and abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Dr. Haji encourages patients to talk to their provider about their screening needs in order to stay on top of their heart health!


When it comes to colorectal cancer, screening can actually prevent a serious diagnosis.

As a gastroenterologist, Leonard Baidoo, MD says he realizes colonoscopies aren’t popular, but they truly save lives because your doctor can remove polyps before they become cancerous. “Even if we find cancer, identifying it early makes it much easier to treat with better outcomes,” Dr. Baidoo said.

Average-risk patients should have their first colonoscopy at age 45. If your doctor doesn’t find anything, you’ll only need to repeat the test every 10 years through age 75.

Screening for heart disease, colorectal cancer and prostate care is readily available and highly effective. All men should talk to their health care provider about their individual screening needs.

“If you’re high-risk due to personal or family history of colorectal cancer or personal history of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, you may need a first colonoscopy sooner and more frequent tests. I encourage all men to talk to their provider about their specific needs,” Dr. Baidoo said.

Prostate screening

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, but there is excellent screening to catch the disease while it’s still highly treatable. As a medical oncologist, Bilawal Ahmed, MD urges men to take advantage of screening, especially as their risk increases with age.

A prostate specific antigen test is done by a simple blood draw. Men should have the test starting at age 50 during their annual primary care visit, or earlier if they are high-risk.

The test measures the level of Prostate Specific Antigen in the blood. Patients with high levels usually need additional testing such as a prostate MRI and biopsy. High-risk patients may also qualify for genetic testing.

“If you catch prostate cancer early, you might only need surveillance. Even if you need surgery or radiation or both, early-stage prostate cancer is often curable,” Dr. Ahmed said.

Learn more!

Regional One Health provides multispecialty care to help men improve their health.

For appointments with cardiologist Dr. Showkat Haji and gastroenterologist Dr. Leonard Baidoo, call 901-545-6969. For appointments with medical oncologist Dr. Bilawal Ahmed, call 901-515-HOPE (4673).