Get YOUR Personal Warrant of Fitness

Dr Paul Stephens, of Cambridge Medical Centre, has some wise words for all of us to consider - perhaps even more so for men who have no hesitation in get their vehicles warranted, but often forget about themselves. June is Men's Health Month and NOW would be a good time to make an appointment with your GP for YOUR own warrant of fitness.

Men and women should have a general health check from the age of 40 years. If your doctor hasn't organised this for you then please ask your GP to arrange this.

It's best to arrange your General Check Up as an individual appointment, separate from any other concerns you may have. Your Dr will need a minimum of 30 minutes to discuss your health, examine you and arrange any appropriate tests or investigations, or even specialist referrals.

Having a General Check Up is quite different to population screening, whereeveryone is offered the tests e.g., mammography and cervical screening. Don't wait for the Governments health dollars to screen you, as they will not have the funds - and for many illnesses population screening is not an effective tool.

The General Check Up content will be governed by individual factors such as; age, ethnicity, gender, your past medical history and your family's medical history - particularly that of your parents and siblings. We are all at risk of health issues and while we can't detect everything, we can make an attempt to.

The aim is to find these health issues early, so we have a better chance of maintaining the best possible quality of life. Many health problems will most likely NOT be symptomatic, so prevention and early detection is the key.

We should start General Health Checks Ups for most people at age 40 years, and depending on individual circumstances these check ups should done be between 1 and 5 years apart.

At the check up we will focus on:

1) Cardiovascular disease (heart) and Cerebrovascular disease (brain) risks

2) Weight, Height, Body Mass Index (BMI), Blood Pressure, Truncal Obesity (localised fat around one's mid-section), Lipids (cholesterol), Blood Sugar.

3) Cancer Diseases - Breast, Bowel, Prostate, Melanoma and Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers (basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer), Urinary Tract (including testicle) and Lymph System.

4) Diabetes Screening

5) Gastrointestinal - Liver, Bowel, Stomach

6) Genitourinary - Prostate, Urinalysis, Testicle, Bladder, Vaginal, Uterine, Ovary

7) Mental Health & Stress Causing Strain

8) Smoking, Alcohol and Recreational Drug use

9) Sleep Hygiene

10) Eyes - should be checked by an optometrist.

Investigations may involve blood, urine and stool tests. Other investigations may be necessary, depending on the individual. So, if you're over 40 years make a time for your Personal Warrant of Fitness today.