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Strong Men Put Their Health First

THREE LAB TESTS EVERY MAN NEEDS

Fast, easy, and relatively painless. It’s how we wish we could describe laying tiles in the kitchen, building the treehouse in the backyard, or hitting that desired weight on the deadlift. Most things men are asked to do are quite the opposite of fast, easy, and painless. Whether it’s a physical or mental challenge, it’s nearly always just that: a challenge. This shouldn’t be the case when it comes to taking care of your health. It’s not uncommon for men to put their health on the back burner. This can be for a number of reasons. Some men procrastinate to avoid a negative diagnosis, and others are just reluctant to start the process of a health check-up, which generally takes time, money, and several blood draws.  

But here’s the thing, no matter what stage of life you are in, there are three lab tests you absolutely consider to get ahead of your health. Preventative care can do many things, including improving the quality of your life, if not just saving it completely. Men’s Health Month was created to highlight preventable health issues and encourage early detection of disease among men of all ages. Read below for three recommended lab tests designed to help men proactively maintain their health.

HAVE A HEART (TEST)

The CDC states that heart disease and cancer are the two leading causes of death for men. These two issues, along with numerous other debilitating and life-altering diagnoses, can be identified and treated early with preventative care. Let’s talk about heart health. While it can be deadly, it can be preventable with proper care. Heart disease is an umbrella term that includes multiple diseases, and each has different symptoms. The most common symptoms between the varying diseases are:

  • Chest pain 
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Fatigue 
  • Racing heartbeat/irregular heartbeat
  • Swelling 

It’s worth recognizing that your hormones tie into your heart health. Something that can greatly impact a man’s health is his hormones. Hormone health is crucial to the function of a man’s body and quality of life. It’s why getting your hormone levels evaluated can be a literal life-saver. 

For example, people who abuse the commonly known male hormone testosterone have an increased risk of high blood pressure heart attack, and stroke. Knowing the signs of a heart attack or stroke is one of the most important things you can do to safeguard your cardiac health. If you’re specifically looking for a heart health test, your neighborhood Any Lab Test Now® has the Heart Health Panel specifically for that. This panel provides an overview of your heart health status and can be used as a baseline assessment of your heart health and possible risk. 

NEED A FATHER’S DAY GIFT IDEA? HOW ABOUT COLORECTAL CANCER SCREENING

Okay, we realize it’s not the best gift… but it’s a great way to make sure you celebrate a few more holidays. According to the American Cancer Society, essential to get screened.

If you want to take preventative measures before getting a colonoscopy, check out your local Any Lab Test Now® for the Colon Cancer Screening (FIT) Test to give you peace of mind. The FIT Test (Fecal Immunochemical Test) is a good health-monitoring test that detects hemoglobin, or blood, in the stool. The sample is collected in the privacy of your home, and only requires a small water-based sampling from one bowel movement. Kits can either be picked up in-store or purchased online and includes a prepaid shipping label to send the sample directly to the lab.

COMPREHENSIVE MALE PANEL

If you’re looking for an all-encompassing screening that will thoroughly take a look at your health with one test, look no further than Any Lab Test Now®. It can all be done using our simple, yet thorough, Comprehensive Male Panel. It’s specifically designed to give men a broad overview of their health. It includes testing for your blood count, a metabolic panel, which includes your kidney and liver functions, as well as your heart and hormone health. You will also receive a prostate-specific antigen test to evaluate your prostate health. The results could show your physician if your testosterone is low, how your liver and kidneys are functioning if you are at risk for diabetes, and even provide a baseline when it comes to prostate cancer.

The panel includes the following tests:

  • Complete blood count of platelets 
  • Complete metabolic panel 
  • Cholesterol
  • Prostate-specific antigen
  • Testosterone 
  • Thyroid 
  • Hemoglobin
  • Adrenal gland function

For the Comprehensive Male Panel at Any Lab Test Now®, fasting is required to do a thorough evaluation through bloodwork. You’ll get your detailed results back in just two to three business days! Once you get your results, we encourage you to create a wellness plan with your primary physician.

MONITOR THE IMPACT OF TESTOSTERONE IMBALANCES 

It’s important to note that the Comprehensive Male Panel includes a Testosterone Test. The main hormone we recognize in men is testosterone. Testosterone is a key hormone in men’s sexual development and function, and it impacts the structure of the brain and a man’s overall mental health. Testosterone also directly influences memory and learning because of where the receptors are located in the brain. Monitoring testosterone levels is important, as testosterone decreases as men age, and puts men at a greater risk of developing conditions like cancer and diabetes. 

If you think you’re experiencing a testosterone imbalance, you might recognize some of these symptoms. 

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Mood swings
  • Impulsiveness
  • Memory loss
  • Irritability 

Physically, a decrease in testosterone can look like this:

  • Loss of bone mass
  • Increased body fat
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sleeping issues
  • Decreased libido
  • Hair loss

The Comprehensive Male Panel provides a broad overview of Men’s Health and is a quick way to figure out if your testosterone level is lower than normal. As you can see, it plays a major part in a man’s health, so it’s important to be aware of and monitor changes. 

Awareness. Prevention. Action.

At Any Lab Test Now, you get access to thousands of tests, many specifically designed with men’s health in mind. Most tests are completed in about 15 minutes or less. So come on guys, no more excuses, thanks to Any Lab Test Now, routine lab testing has never been easier. You take your vehicle for routine maintenance more than once a year in order to keep it from breaking down. Why not do the same for your health? Routine lab testing can help you establish a baseline! You may ask yourself, “How do I do this? How do I check in on my health while carrying on with my hectic schedule?” The answer is simple… visit ANY LAB TEST NOW®!

Find your local Any Lab Test Now® to learn more about the plethora of tests offered.

Break the Silence on the Silent Killer: Colon Cancer

We all know someone whose life has been touched by cancer. It’s a scary diagnosis that is generally followed up with treatment plans, support groups, and a journey of making peace with all the potential outcomes. By definition, cancer is a disease in which some of the body’s cells grow uncontrollably and spread to other parts of the body. Unfortunately, there are many types of cancer, and they can attack anywhere inside the body, which only adds to the terror surrounding the diagnosis. Many people, understandably, don’t want to talk about cancer. Much less, specific cancers like colorectal cancer. 

Colorectal cancer is a disease where the cells in the colon or rectum grow out of control. Before a person is even aware, it can move from one stage to the next, causing treatments to become more intense and high-risk. Our greatest ally in fighting this cancer is early testing. At Any Lab Test Now®, we can provide you with the Colon Cancer Screening (Fit) Test. It’s a simple, non-invasive test that checks for blood in your stool. It’s the best way to provide you with early detection of polyps that could result in colon cancer. A huge benefit of this test is that you can take it in the comfort of your own home with no prior preparations. A home collection kit can be picked up in-store or purchased online and shipped directly to your home.

The past two years of COVID-19 have left us deeply impacted, and for many, the focus on other important health screenings has taken a backseat. Don’t let testing fatigue stop you from protecting yourself against a disease that can be completely preventable, and if caught early, beatable. Colorectal cancer typically occurs in people ages 45 and older, but in recent years, the disease has begun to affect younger people as well. Every year, about 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with this disease, with an estimated 50,000 deaths. Often known as the silent killer, colorectal cancer may develop without symptoms.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are several symptoms to look out for, including:

  • Changing bowel habits 
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Weakness/fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss

There are certain risk factors that make a person more likely to develop colorectal cancer. If you are experiencing any of the above it’s greatly encouraged that you get tested. Doing so could give you the peace of mind you need or even save your life. 

You are more at risk for colorectal cancer if:

  • You’re over the age of 45
  • You have had colorectal polyps or cancer in the past
  • You have a family history of colorectal cancer (parents, siblings, or child)
  • You have ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
  • Your diet is high in fat and low in calcium, fiber, and folate
  • You smoke cigarettes
  • You have certain genetic conditions

With the Colon Cancer Screening (Fit) Test from Any Lab Test Now®, you can take the test when it’s convenient for you in the privacy of your own home. We’ve all heard the horror stories that coincide with preparation for a colonoscopy. It’s fair to say that many people let that fear deter them from getting the test. Our home collection kit doesn’t require fasting or any other prep work. All you need to do is pick up the test, follow the instructions, and return the test for processing. Results generally take about five to seven business days.

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is one the most common types of cancer in men and women. It is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Routine testing can help prevent or find cancer at an earlier stage when it might be easier to treat. If found early, the five-year survival rate increases by more than 90 percent, meaning many lives could be saved by the awareness that comes with increased testing. 

New Year, Better You

In honor of March being National Colorectal Cancer Awareness month, let’s continue making our health a priority as 2022 pushes on so that you’re the best you there is. The take-home Colon Cancer Screening (Fit) Test from Any Lab Test Now® is worth breaking the silence about. We provide transparent and inexpensive prices for customers with no insurance, high deductible insurance, or who simply want to proactively monitor their health.

Women’s Health Month: Chronic Conditions You May Not Know Affect You

Did you know May is Women’s Health Month?

There are many conditions known to impact women, such as breast or ovarian cancer. However, there are several diseases that the general public identifies with men. Heart disease and colorectal cancer are two examples. The thinking that these are male diseases can unfortunately put women at a disadvantage when it comes to their health.

During the month of May, it is time for women to make their own health a priority and learn more about these chronic conditions that can impact them just as much as men. Early screenings can identify potential problems long before signs and symptoms show up.

Here is an overview on these two conditions and the simple tests that will help women get a handle on their health.

Heart Disease

COVID-19 aside, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, accounting for one in every four deaths. Doctors have known for years that men and women experience heart disease somewhat differently.

Women are more likely to die following a heart attack than men are. Men present more “typical” symptoms of a heart attack, including chest, jaw, or arm pain; pain that radiates to one of the arms, neck, jaw, or back; and nausea, vomiting, sweating, or palpitations.

However, women are more likely to have “atypical” signs of heart attack, including heartburn, back pain, or pain that is burning, stabbing, or resembles indigestion.

Because of this, women are more likely than men to experience delays in emergency care.

It is important for women to get a baseline assessment of their heart health.

Any Lab Test Now® offers several tests that can provide an overview of heart health — including the Heart Health Panel, which looks at the following:

  • Lipoprotein Particle Protein Basic (LPP) – Overall cardiovascular risk assessment.
  • Complete Metabolic Panel (CMP) – Evaluates the body’s electrolyte balance and the status of major body organs.
  • C-Reactive Protein (CRP) High Sensitivity – An inflammation marker used to evaluate the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Homocysteine – Evaluates the risk of coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, and other cardiovascular diseases.

Once you have results, you can better understand your heart health and take steps with the help of your primary care physician and potentially a cardiologist.

Colorectal Cancer 

According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer diagnosed in men and women in the U.S. Women have a 1 in 25 chance of developing colorectal cancer.

Thanks to screenings, like those offered at Any Lab Test Now, the rate of people dying of colon or rectal cancer has been dropping. Those who can identify colorectal cancer sooner can reduce the risk of cancer cells spreading to different areas of the body and can increase their chance of recovery.

Symptoms of colorectal cancer include bleeding from the rectum, abdominal discomfort, blood in the stool, dark or black stools, or any change in bowel habits, unexplained weight loss, and weakness or fatigue.

Some risk factors of colorectal cancer include:

  • Are over 45 years of age
  • Had colorectal polyps or cancer in the past
  • Have a family history of colorectal cancer (in a parent, brother, sister, or child)
  • Have ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
  • Eat a diet high in fat and [low in calcium, fiber, and folate]
  • Smoke cigarettes
  • Have certain genetic conditions

The Colon Cancer Screening Test at Any Lab Test Now is a health-monitoring test kit that detects hemoglobin, or blood, in the stool. The sample is collected in the privacy of your home and only requires a small water-based sampling from one bowel movement. Test kits can either be picked up in-store or purchased online and shipped.

If your test is positive, you will want to share your test results with your primary care physician or a gastroenterologist.

What if you are a woman who’s not necessarily concerned about heart disease or colon cancer? That’s great, but you could still benefit from a baseline assessment of your overall health. Our Annual Check-Up Panel consists of five tests that are typically ordered by a physician during an annual physical exam. It’ll provide you with numeric results or levels regarding your blood counts, kidney and liver functions, electrolytes, total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, LDL, and thyroid function values. By knowing your levels, you can begin to manage and even improve your health and keep track of fluctuations over time.

Be at Ease

At Any Lab Test Now, we understand that people may have concerns about going to a healthcare facility during the coronavirus outbreak. You can be at ease knowing that we are providing you a safe and clean location for your lab work. Each of our 190+ stores is sanitized several times a day, in accordance with the CDC’s protocols. When you get your test results, you can easily make a telemedicine appointment with your physician and share the details. Any Lab Test Now is a committed partner in helping you to make educated healthcare decisions that can benefit your quality of life.

Find your closest Any Lab Test Now store at www.anylabtestnow.com.

 

Five Ways to Improve Gut Health

Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Pharmacy shelves are filled with expensive probiotics touting gut health, but simple dietary (and lifestyle) changes, along with regular medical tests, can help build a strong digestive system and decrease the risks of colon cancer.

One in 23 men and one in 25 women will develop colon cancer. The American Cancer Society predicts 104,610 new cases of colon cancer to be diagnosed in the United States this year. In the United States, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women. Colorectal cancer typically starts from a growth in the lining of the colon or rectum, called a polyp. Adenomas polyps may change into cancer over time and can be removed if they are detected during colonoscopies. The colon measures five feet long and is responsible for absorbing any of the remaining water and salt in food before it exits the body as waste, according to the American Cancer Society.

The good news is that early detection and screening are helping reduce the death rate from colorectal cancer. To highlight Colon Cancer Awareness Month in March, take time out of your busy schedule to visit an Any Lab Test Now location to get an annual screening test. The Colon Cancer Screening (Fit) Test is a valuable tool to ensure good colon health.

Are You at Risk?

Many lifestyle factors increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer. Physicians cite lack of regular exercise, low fiber and high-fat diets, obesity, alcohol consumption and tobacco use as risk factors, the Centers for Disease Control reports. Regular screening and dietary changes are key to avoiding colorectal cancer, according to the CDC. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, it is important to be aware of some of the common signs of a problem and visit your physician.

Common signs include:

  • Blood in your stool.
  • Lingering stomach pain.
  • Unexplained weight loss.

Easy Steps to Improve Gut Health

Stress, lack of sleep, antibiotics and a diet of highly processed foods can damage the health of the gut. In addition to obvious lifestyle changes to lower the risk of colorectal cancer, there are five easy steps everyone can take to improve gut health and reduce their cancer risk.

Eat more vegetables. Increasing consumption of whole grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables provides essential fiber, an important component of digestion.

Add fermented foods. Fermented foods like kimchi, yogurt and sauerkraut contain natural probiotics, which can help improve your gut health.

Eat dark chocolate and foods with polyphenols. Polyphenols found in foods like berries, dark chocolate and certain spices help improve digestion.

Cut out artificial sweeteners. A study conducted on mice reveals artificial sweeteners altered their metabolism and damaged their gut bacteria.

Brush and floss your teeth. Medical professionals are exploring a link between excess plaque and gum disease as one cause of colon cancer.

Get Tested at Any Lab Test Now

If you have a family history of colon cancer, the Colon Cancer Screening (Fit) Test is an important tool in the early detection of blood in the stool that could indicate colon cancer. The Colorectal Cancer Alliance recommends adults start getting screened annually at age 45. People with a family history of colon cancer should start getting screened at 40, or 10 years before the age of the youngest case in your immediate family. People with certain autoimmune diseases, like ulcerative colitis, may need to be screened prior to age 45.

You do not need an appointment to take advantage of Any Lab Test Now’s affordable lab testing. Patients can receive results via mail, fax or pick them up at their testing location. The test results are in an easy-to-read format that clearly states if the test is within the normal range. You should share the results with your physician. If the Colon Cancer Screening (Fit) Test detects blood in your stool, your doctor will likely schedule a colonoscopy to determine the cause. A colonoscopy is a test conducted under sedation by a gastroenterologist. The outpatient procedure involves inserting a camera in the rectum to allow the doctor to examine the colon for abnormalities.

Reduce your risk of developing this silent cancer by adopting healthy habits and getting regular screenings. Visit your local Any Lab Test Now to find out about the Colon Cancer Screening (Fit) Test.

Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know colorectal cancer, often referred to as colon or rectal cancer, is the third most common form of cancer in the United States? According to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, the disease affects more than 140,000 Americans annually and is the second leading cause of death by cancer, taking an astonishing 50,000 lives a year.

You may be asking yourself, what exactly does the colon do? Well, the colon, also known as the large intestine, is an integral part your body’s digestive system. The essential functions of the colon are to reabsorb fluids, process remaining waste, extract nutrients, and prepare it for elimination. Simply put, your colon helps the body empty waste.

The American Cancer Society warns that one in twenty-four women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in their lifetime. The risk is even greater for men whose odds are about one in twenty-two. With these numbers in mind and National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month approaching in March, it’s important to stay educated on the signs, symptoms, risk factors, and preventative measures you should be taking to help fight colorectal cancer.

In most cases, colon cancer begins as polyps — small abnormal growths that live on the inner lining of the colon. Although colon cancer first presents itself in the form of these growths, not all polyps follow the same maturity route. Generally speaking, adenomatous polyps are considered to be pre-cancerous, whereas hyperplastic and inflammatory polyps are more common and benign.

Polyps often display very few symptoms, which is why doctors recommend regular screening tests to detect these abnormalities. In addition to routine screening, the at-home Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) is a valuable resource to monitor the health of your colon in the privacy of your home. The test is non-invasive and requires no prior preparation!

Symptoms

  • Changes in bowel habits, including changes in consistency of stool (diarrhea, constipation), lasting longer than four weeks
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in stool
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Cramping, frequent gas, and associated pain
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss

These symptoms are oftentimes mild and undetectable in the onset of colon cancer. Signs and symptoms may also vary depending on the size of the cancer and its location in the large intestine. If you begin to notice any of these symptoms, do not hesitate to contact your physician.

Risk Factors

  • Age – colon cancer typically affects those 50 and older
  • Inflammatory intestinal conditions such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • High-fat, low-fiber diets
  • Smoking and alcohol use
  • Radiation therapy directed at the abdomen to treat previous cancers

In addition, a family history of colon cancer and inherited risk factors such as Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) and Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colorectal Cancer (HPNCC) or Lynch Syndrome can increase your risk.

Prevention

When it comes to protecting your body against colon cancer, many factors are within your control! Scheduling routine screening with your doctor is by far the most important and effective action to take with colon health in mind. Although it is generally recommended people begin colon cancer screenings at age 50, those with certain risk factors or family history of the disease are encouraged to speak with their doctor about earlier and more frequent screenings.

Colorectal cancer screening can detect precancerous polyps before they develop and become a real danger to your health. When colorectal cancer is found in the early stages with screening, treatment is typically more effective.

Certain lifestyle changes are also shown to reduce your risk for colon cancer:

  • Eating a balanced and colorful diet full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Increasing physical activity with 30 minutes of exercise a day
  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • Avoid tobacco products

With March just around the corner and National Colorectal Cancer Awareness on the forefront, Any Lab Test Now encourages you to watch for signs and symptoms, speak with your doctor, and take preventative measures to make your colon health an ongoing priority.

Visit Any Lab Test Now to find a location near you and speak with a professional about colon cancer-related tests, such as an at-home Fecal Immunochemical Test!