CWC has compiled the following information on important health screenings which would be performed depending on age and health risk.
Counseling. Your health care provider should take time to discuss the following topics with you periodically: Smoking cessatoin, drug and alcohol use, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV, family planning, domestic violence, unintentional injuries, seat belt use, nutrition, physical activity, polypharmacy and fall prevention.
Routine physical. A routine physical is an ideal opportunity for you to ask questions about your health and for your doctor to recommend ways to remain healthy. However, not everyone needs to see a doctor regularly, especially if you are young and healthy. Routine visits become more important and should occur more frequently after you reach age 50, when the rates of heart disease and cancer increase for most men.
Weight/Body Mass Index (BMI). Being overweight increases your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and possibly some types of cancer. Use our BMI calculator to see if you are the right weight for your height. Ideally, your BMI should be between 19 and 24. A BMI of 25 to 29 is considered "overweight," whereas a BMI of 30 or more is considered "obese."
Blood pressure. High blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. If your readings are higher than 140/90 milligrams of mercury, your doctor will probably recommend lifestyle changes exercise and diet and possibly medications to bring your blood pressure under better control. Individuals who have readings at the high end of the "normal" range should have their blood pressure checked as often as every six to 12 months.
Cholesterol. High cholesterol also increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. If you have other risks for heart disease - such as high blood pressure or diabetes - your doctor may recommend checking your cholesterol as often as every one to two years. Others may need their cholesterol checked less often. If your doctor plans to check your cholesterol, be sure to ask if you need to fast (not eat for three to eight hours) before your blood is drawn.
Diabetes. Diabetes is a common condition that greatly increases your risk of other medical problems, including heart disease, kidney failure, blindness and circulatory problems. Screening is the best way to detect diabetes, because many adults who develop diabetes will have few if any symptoms. Screening is particularly important for those at high risk of diabetes, including individuals who:
Prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men. However, screening for early stages of prostate cancer remains controversial. Men who are older than 50 and younger men with a family history of prostate cancer should discuss the risks and benefits of screening with their doctor. The best tests for prostate cancer include the digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen and a PSA Free screening.
Colon cancer screening. Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in men. All men (and women) older than 50 should be screened regularly for colon cancer. Younger men with a family history of colon cancer should also be screened. Unfortunately, fewer than one-half of Americans at risk undergo regular screening. There is some controversy about the best way to screen for colon cancer. Some doctors recommend that all individuals undergo colonoscopy, whereas other doctors feel that fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) or sigmoidoscopy (or a combination of the two) are a good alternative. Be sure to discuss these options with your doctor.
Testicular cancer. After passing into puberty, get instructions from your health care provider on how to perform a monthly self-exam. Get familiar with your testicals and go back as soon as you feel a new pea-sized lump.
Breast cancer. Several hundred men die each year from breast cancer. Learn to do a monthly breast self-exam.
Immunizations. Immunizations are a simple and effective way to avoid important infections. In addition to those listed in the table, a number of other immunizations (such as hepatitis B, hepatitis A and Lyme disease) are available. Talk to your doctor about which immunizations are appropriate for you.
Other types of screening. Your doctor may also perform or recommend the following types of screening: