What Routine Screenings Should Men Get?

by Anil Keswani, MD

In most cases, the earlier a disease is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat and the better the outcome. Screenings can help identify illnesses in their earliest stages, often before you have symptoms. Men should have the following screening tests every year starting at age 20 unless otherwise indicated.

Blood pressure screening
Have your blood pressure checked every two years. If it is 120-139/80-89 Hg or higher, have it checked every year.

Cholesterol screening
Men over age 34 should be checked every five years. Men who have diabetes or risk factors for heart disease should begin screenings at age 20.

Colorectal cancer tests
Have a test for colorectal cancer starting at age 50. If you have risk factors or a family history of colorectal cancer, your doctor may recommend starting earlier.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening
Get tested one time for HCV if you were born between 1945 and 1965, you have ever injected drugs, or you received a blood transfusion before 1992.

Sexually transmitted infection screening
Sexually active men who have multiple partners should be screened for sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia or gonorrhea.

Prostate cancer screening
Talk to your doctor about whether you should have a prostate cancer screening.

Preventive health visits
Men should have an annual preventive health exam to check weight and screen for alcohol, tobacco use and depression. Talk to your doctor about any other health concerns you may have.

Skin cancer screening
Have an annual head-to-toe skin exam by a physician to check for any suspicious spots, moles or lesions.  

This Scripps Health and Wellness tip was provided by Anil Keswani, MD, corporate vice president of ambulatory health care and population health management.