Preventive Health Screenings for Men

Help the men in your life to stay healthy by sharing this suggested timeline for routine health screenings.

preventive health screenings - man speaking with his doctorNote: This schedule is a suggested timeline for routine health screenings. These recommendations include those agreed upon by expert preventive health task forces such as the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and some recommended by professional organizations such as the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Talk with your health care provider for guidance on what’s best for you. More frequent screenings may be recommended based on your personal health history.


What Age When Why
General Health
Physical examination 18+ Every 2-3 years; discuss with your health care provider. To screen for diseases; assess risk for future problems; discuss lifestyle habits; and keep vaccinations up to date.
Colorectal health
Colonoscopy
(and/or other screening tests for colorectal cancer, such as fecal occult blood testing, flexible sigmoidoscopy and CT colonography)
50+ Starting at age 50. You may need to be screened earlier if you have a family history of colorectal cancer. Time frames for screening, as well as risks and benefits, vary for different screening methods. Talk to your health care provider about which test is best for you. To identify (and remove) precancerous polyps or early cancers.
Diabetes
Fasting plasma glucose test
(also called blood glucose test)
18+ Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 mm Hg or if you take medication for high blood pressure. To provide an early warning sign of high blood sugar levels, which could mean an increased risk for diabetes. Diabetes can cause problems with your heart, brain, eyes, feet, kidneys, nerves and more.
Eye, ear and teeth health (based on recommendations of professional organizations)
Eye exam 20-64, periodic based on recommendations
65+, every 1-2 years
At least once from ages 20-29; at least twice between ages 30-39. At age 40, get a baseline eye disease screening, with follow-ups as recommended. Starting at age 65, eye exams every 1-2 years. To test your vision and screen for glaucoma and macular degeneration, two common, often age-related conditions.
Hearing test 18-50, once every 10 years;
51+, every 3 years
Once every 10 years from ages 18-50, after which once every 3 years. To make sure you’re hearing all life has to offer.
Dental exam and cleaning All adults, 18+ Regularly, usually every 6-12 months, or as recommended by your dentist or dental hygienist. To remove plaque and bacteria that could lead to tooth and gum disease; to check oral cancer. Problems with your teeth can indicate osteoporosis.
Heart health and circulation
Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening 65-75 Once between ages 65-75 if you have ever been a smoker. An abdominal aortic aneurysm may burst and cause dangerous bleeding and death if not detected and treated.
Blood pressure screening 18+ Beginning at age 18, at least every 2 years. Blood pressure screenings are the only way to identify high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and kidney and eye problems.
Cholesterol screening 35+ Every 5 years starting at age 35. Begin screening at age 20 if you smoke, are obese, have diabetes or high blood pressure or have a family history of heart disease. Treating cholesterol abnormalities can help reduce your risk of heart disease.
Prostate health
Prostate screening 50+ Starting at age 50, talk to your health care providers about uncertainties, risks and potential benefits of screening for prostate cancer. Men at high risk should begin these conversations sooner. Screening is not recommended for men with no symptoms who are not expected to live more than 10 years. Men who want to be screened should be tested with the prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test. A digital rectal exam may also be done. Follow-up screenings depend on test results. Looks for warning signs of prostate cancer. Early detection tests can’t tell for sure whether or not cancer is present. If the results of one or more of these tests are abnormal, a prostate biopsy may be done.
Reproductive and sexual health
Sexually transmitted disease (STD) screening All 18+, based on sexual activity and risk factors All sexually active men who are at increased risk (such as those who have multiple sexual partners) should be tested for HIV and other STDs before starting sexual activity. Helps prevent spread of HIV and other STDs, many of which can only be detected through testing.
Testicular self-exam 18+ Routinely, starting at puberty. Discuss with your health care provider. To identify subtle changes in the testicles that could help detect testicular cancer early, when it's easy to treat.
Skin health
Skin exams 18+ Talk to your health care provider about what’s right for you. If you have risk factors for skin cancer, your health care provider may recommend periodic skin exams. To track worrisome moles and identify skin cancer early.
Immunizations
Influenza (flu) vaccine 6 months+ Annually for everyone 6 months and older. Protects against major strains of flu viruses.
Hepatitis A Usually given to children, but may be given to at-risk adults who haven't been vaccinated. Given in 2 doses, 6-18 months apart, to children 1 year of age and to adults at risk or who want protection from hepatitis A. Protects against hepatitis A, a serious liver disease that can cause flu-like illness, jaundice and severe stomach pains and diarrhea.
Hepatitis B Usually given to children, but may be given to at-risk adults who haven't been vaccinated. Given to children at birth in 3 doses at 0, 1 and 6 months. Also given to children or adults who weren't vaccinated and are at risk for hepatitis B (health care workers, for example). Protects against hepatitis B, a serious liver disease that can develop into a chronic infection.
Herpes zoster 60+ Once only at age 60 or older. Shingles prevention.
Meningococcal College freshmen, military recruits, others at risk College freshmen, military recruits and other at-risk persons; discuss with your health care provider. Protects against some types of meningococcal disease (meningitis).
Pneumonia 65+ Once only at age 65 or older. Protects against pneumonia.
Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Td/Tdap) 18+ Every 10 years. Protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.
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