What are the necessary screening exams for men?

The human body doesn’t come with an owner’s manual, so who can blame a guy for not knowing better?

Fortunately, the American Cancer Society has compiled a list of recommended screening exams for men. Keep in mind, these screening tests are those recommended for men at “average risk.” If you have a strong family history of heart disease, diabetes or colon or prostate cancer, you might need to be tested earlier and more often. A good mechanic (primary care doctor) can guide you through the process.

Screening tests for men:
  • Blood pressure measurement: Starting at age 20, at each regular doctor's visit, at least every two years
  • Body mass index (BMI) to test for obesity: Starting at age 20, at each regular doctor's visit
  • Blood cholesterol test: Starting at age 20, at least every five years
  • Blood glucose (sugar) test: Starting at age 45, every three years
  • Colorectal screening for colon cancer: Starting at age 50, every 1-10 years depending on the test your doctor uses
  • Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and digital rectal exam for prostate cancer: Starting at age 50, but ask your doctor about the pros and cons of testing
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Baptist Health South Florida
Internal Medicine
When it comes to regular tests and screenings for men, some are recommended after age 50 (colon and prostate cancer screenings and cardiac calcium scoring). The following are recommended for men of all ages:  
  • checkup/physical exam (annually)
  • blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides and diabetes screening (every 1-2 years)
  • eye exam (every 1-2 years)
  • dental exam (annually)
  • skin cancer screening (annually)
  • vaccines: flu (annually) and diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis (DPT, every 10 years until age 65)
Cholesterol screening and heart disease prevention screening are necessary for men over the age of 34, and you should be checked every five years. If you are over the age of 45, you should be screened every three years. If you are between the ages 50 to 75, you should also be screened for colorectal cancer.
Ronald Tamler, MD
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
Starting at age 34, men should have their cholesterol checked every five years. This blood test can be administered by a primary care physician. At 50, men should be screened for colorectal cancer. African-Americans need to start screening at age 45. Speak with your doctor about whether or not you should be tested for prostate cancer. Men at high risk should address this at 45, whereas men who are not at high risk can have this conversation at 50.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.