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Check-Ups Every Guy Needs

An age-by-age breakdown of the most important medical tests for men

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Chances are you get your car tuned regularly, never skip an oil change, and keep it buffed and polished till it sparkles. But are you taking such good care of yourself?

"Our busy lives and work schedules often prevent us from seeking routine preventive care," says Robert W. Brenner, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Founder of the Preventive Medicine Program at New Jersey-based Summit Medical Group. "But evidence-based preventive medicine is cost-effective and reduces the risk of illness and disease."

"Cars get routine check-ups. So do planes," adds Daniel Cosgrove, MD, Medical Director of the WellMax Center in La Quinta, California. "But for our bodies, the most precious thing we have, we wait for symptoms. And unfortunately, most diseases are far advanced by the time one gets symptoms."

Based on your individual health conditions, your doctor will determine which tests you should have, and how often to have them, but in general, the medical exams suggested below will help keep you a finely-tuned machine throughout your life.

In Your 20s

  • Annual physical exam by your primary care physician, including blood pressure, and height/weight checks
  • Screening for testicular cancer, including monthly self exams
  • Cholesterol testing every 5 years
  • Depending on your individual circumstances, your doctor may want to do an electrocardiogram to check for heart disease, and blood tests to screen for diabetes, thyroid disease, liver problems, and anemia
  • Depending on risk factors, your doctor may also recommend screening for skin cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV infection, and alcohol abuse
 

In Your 30s

  • Annual physical exam by your primary care physician, including blood pressure, and height/weight checks
  • Screening for testicular cancer, including monthly self exams
  • Cholesterol testing every 5 years
  • Depending on your individual circumstances, your doctor may want to do an electrocardiogram to check for heart disease, and blood tests to screen for diabetes, thyroid disease, liver problems, and anemia
  • Depending on risk factors, your doctor may also recommend screening for skin cancer, oral cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV infection, and alcohol abuse
  • Vision examination
  • Screening for coronary heart disease in individuals with strong family history and/or risk factors
 

In Your 40s

  • Annual physical exam by your primary care physician, including blood pressure, and height/weight checks
  • Screening for testicular cancer, including monthly self exams
  • Cholesterol testing every 5 years
  • Depending on your individual circumstances, your doctor may want to do an electrocardiogram to check for heart disease, and blood tests to screen for thyroid disease, liver problems, and anemia
  • Screening for prostate cancer
  • Diabetes screening every 3 years over the age of 45
  • Depending on risk factors, your doctor may also recommend screening for skin cancer, oral cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, and alcohol abuse
  • Vision examination
  • Screening for coronary heart disease in individuals with strong family history and/or risk factors
 

In Your 50s

  • Annual physical exam by your primary care physician, including blood pressure, and height/weight checks
  • Screening for testicular cancer, including monthly self exams
  • Cholesterol testing every 5 years
  • Annual screening for Type II diabetes
  • Depending on risk factors, your doctor may recommend screening for skin cancer, oral cancer, lung cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, and alcohol abuse
  • Screening for lipid disorders
  • Annual electrocardiogram
  • Vision and hearing examinations
  • Screening for prostate cancer
  • Screening for colon cancer with fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy at age 50
  • Screening for coronary heart disease in individuals with strong family history and/or risk factors
  • Screening for depression
 

In Your 60s

  • Annual physical exam by your primary care physician, including blood pressure, and height/weight checks
  • Screening for testicular cancer, including monthly self exams
  • Screening for prostate cancer
  • Screening for lipid disorders
  • Annual electrocardiogram
  • Discuss with your physician screening for coronary heart disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm, and carotid artery ultrasound screening
  • Vision and hearing examinations
  • Screening for osteoporosis
  • Depending on risk factors, your doctor may recommend screening for skin cancer, oral cancer, lung cancer sexually transmitted diseases, and alcohol abuse
  • Continue colorectal screening based upon previous studies and results
  • Screening for depression
  • Screening for dementia and Alzheimer's disease
 

In Your 70s and Up

  • Annual physical exam by your primary care physician, including blood pressure, and height/weight checks
  • Screening for testicular cancer, including monthly self exams
  • Screening for prostate cancer
  • Screening for lipid disorders
  • Annual electrocardiogram
  • Discuss with your physician screening for coronary heart disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm, and carotid artery ultrasound screening
  • Vision and hearing examinations
  • Screening for osteoporosis
  • Continue colorectal screening based upon previous studies and results. General screening until age 75. Discuss with your physician screening if aged 76-85 years old. Screening is not recommended for those greater than 85 years of age.
  • Depending on risk factors, your doctor may recommend screening for skin cancer, oral cancer, lung cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, and alcohol abuse
  • Screening for depression
  • Screening for dementia and Alzheimer's disease

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