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Why Men Should Stay on Top of Health Screenings

June 16, 2016 | Dr. John Hughes

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successful-mature-man.jpgMen spend much of their time taking care of their families, homes, cars and jobs so they often forget about themselves. It’s important to stay healthy at any age, and as they get older, men should be sure to get regular screenings by their doctor to catch diseases and illness in the early stages. Men and women require some of the same screenings, such as blood pressure and cholesterol checks, but others vary by gender.

To be sure you’re getting the right care at the right time, here are some of the men's health screenings and the frequency at which they should be done.


Health Screenings in Your 20s

When you’re younger, you may feel great and not want to bother getting poked and prodded at the doctor’s office, but you will thank yourself later for taking the time.

  • Physical exam — every three years
  • Blood pressure — every year
  • TB skin test — every five years
  • Blood tests and urinalysis for cholesterol, diabetes, kidney or thyroid abnormalities — every three to five years
  • Tetanus booster — every 10 years

Health Screenings in Your 30s

As you approach middle age, screenings should become more frequent, particularly if you have a family history of disease or illness.

  • Physical exam — every three years
  • Blood pressure — every year
  • Blood tests and urinalysis for cholesterol, diabetes, kidney or thyroid abnormalities — every three years
  • EKG — if indicated by other conditions, have one to get checked for heart abnormalities as a baseline for future comparison
  • Tetanus booster — every 10 years

Health Screenings in Your 40s

As middle age sets in, men may notice differences in their health, making them more inclined to seek medical attention. The number of screenings increases from the 30s, as more risks may be prevalent as men age.

  • Physical exam — every two years
  • Blood pressure — every year Blood tests and urinalysis for cholesterol, diabetes, kidney or thyroid abnormalities — every two years
  • EKG — if indicated by other conditions, have one to get checked for heart abnormalities as a baseline for future comparison
  • Tetanus booster — every 10 years
  • Rectal exam — based on a history or other clinical
  • Chest X-ray — if you are a smoker, talk with your doctor if you are over 45
  • Testosterone screening — based on symptoms, talk with your doctor about when and how often if you need a blood test

Health Screenings for 50 and Beyond

As when you were in your 40s, increasing age brings increasing numbers of screenings to check for potential risk, especially for advanced aged men.

  • Physical exam — every year Blood pressure — every year
  • TB skin test — every five years
  • Blood tests and urinalysis for cholesterol, diabetes, kidney or thyroid abnormalities — every two to three years
  • EKG — if indicated by other conditions, have one to get checked for heart abnormalities as a baseline for future comparison
  • Tetanus booster — every 10 years
  • Rectal exam — every year Hemoccult — every year, unless you have a colonoscopy
  • Chest X-ray — if you are a smoker, talk with your doctor if you are over 45
  • Testosterone screening — based on symptoms, talk with your doctor about when and how often if you need a blood test
  • Prostate cancer screening — talk with your doctor about whether screening is right for you based on your health history
  • Colonoscopy — every 10 years, maybe more if you have a family history of colon cancer and if polyps are found

Checklist for Self-Exams

Men's-health-screenings

Many times, men will skip the doctor’s office out of the fear of discovering something is wrong. However, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s better to catch something in its early stages than to wait until it’s more developed and there are fewer treatment options available. Finding out about a health problem and taking the preventive steps to treat it can make a huge impact on the quality and length of your life.

Common excuses like “I don’t have the time or the money” to get an annual physical can be countered simply with the fact that spending a little now can save you from spending a lot in the ER or hospital later if an ailment is not treated properly. So give yourself and your family peace of mind and stay on track with your health. Think of it as your regular oil change—you can take your car in regularly to get it serviced so it doesn’t break down, why wouldn’t you do the same for yourself?

If you would like to make an appointment with Dr. Hughes, please call his office at 419-668-8110.

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