By getting or gifting the following essential tests, you might actually do him a big favor concerning his healthy future. For it is now known that early detection and diagnosis means a far brighter chance of full recovery from debilitating illnesses in old age
1. Blood Pressure check: Blood pressure is a silent killer flowing through his arteries and it generally develops after the age of 40. If undetected and controlled it can fail his kidneys or get him a heart attack. A BP check will tell you whether he is hypertensive and that his heart is working overtime (score of 140/90 or more)
2. Cholesterol Test: As men get older, their arteries become narrower and harder and have more heart attacks than women. Your doctor will be able to find out the ratio of LDL (bad cholesterol) to HDL (good cholesterol) and triglycerides (dangerous fats) in his blood. A score of 3 or above means his cardiovascular system is at risk.
3. Diabetes Test: Asian men are at higher risk of type 2 diabetes because their body metabolism is similar to obese people. Approx 30 million males in India are at risk with this epidemic and your father could be in this list. Left untreated, diabetes can put him to health risks like blindness, stroke, kidney failure, and heart attack. Bear in mind that he may be showing no symptoms at all but this test is a must.
4. Colonoscopy: Colon cancer, despite its high incidence in India, is the most treatable form of cancer if detected early. If your father is regular smoker or drinker , he may be at risk with colorectal cancer (CRC) which is the third most common cancer worldwide. Poor diet during work and travel, lifestyle habits combined with some hereditary factors might be putting him at risk. A colonoscopy test has a 90% chances of cure in first stage as compared to 30% in terminal stage (stage 4)
5. Prostate check: You father may dismiss it as an old man’s illness but remind him that if screened early his chances of living to be a healthy old man increases dramatically. All men have a 1 in 8 chance of overall lifetime risk with prostate. This test is usually combined with rectal check and is recommended around the age of 40 with a frequency of 1 per year.
There are other vital checks that have not made it to the list for the simple reason of incidence and likely risk on health but are important too. They include eye check (for glaucoma), waist check (for obesity), mental health check (for depression, sleeplessness etc). So get him to your family doctor today and gift him a healthy future and celebrate Father’s day.