Routine checkups can find health problems early. For many health problems, early treatment can help prevent more serious problems. A “screen” is a test used to look for a disease that has not already been found or diagnosed. Screens are recommended based on your age, health history and family health history.
The advice listed below is based on guidelines designed by the American Academy of Family Physicians and the U.S. Preventive Health Task Force. They are guidelines for how often you should see your health care provider for routine exams and tests. These schedules should be used for “well care.” If you have any ongoing health problems, you will need checkups more often.
A dental exam should be done every 6 months to 1 year in all men.
Blood pressure and weight should be checked every 2-3 years in healthy men age 18-39, and every year for men age 40 and over.
Cholesterol should be checked every 5 years starting at age 35, or earlier in men with risk factors for heart disease. Blood sugar should be checked every 3 years to look for diabetes.
Men over 40 may need to have exams of the skin to look for skin cancer, they should ask their doctor if this is necessary.
Men over 50 should have their stool tested for blood every year and/or a colonoscopy (using a camera to look into the colon) every 10 years. Both of these tests are used to search for colon cancer.
There is a lot of debate about the need for prostate cancer screening with a “PSA” blood test. Men over 50 should ask their doctor if they need this test.
Men over 50 should have a check for hearing and an eye exam every 1 to 3 years.
All men should be screened for HIV even if they don’t have any risk factors, according to the Center for Disease Control.
People with diabetes and high blood pressure are recommended to have additional screening tests, because they are at higher risk to get certain diseases, such as, heart attacks, blindness and kidney disease. In Diabetics, a Hemoglobin A1C (blood test) is needed every 6 months and a foot exam should be done at each doctor visit. In both diabetics and people with high blood pressure a screen for protein in the urine is needed. This test looks for early kidney damage. A cholesterol test and an eye exam should be done once per year in people with diabetes or high blood pressure.
What immunizations do I need to get?
As an adult, you should have the shots listed below:
- flu shot every year, especially if you are over 50 years old
- tetanus (Td) booster shot every 10 years
- varicella (chickenpox) shot twice in your lifetime. You need this shot if you have never had a varicella (chickenpox) shot and you do not know if you ever had chickenpox disease.
- pneumonia shot at age 65 or sooner if you have a chronic disease like diabetes.
If you have questions or health concerns, feel free to fill out a 7362, request for health care services, to discuss these matters with your primary care provider.