Periodic Health Checkups for

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Your doctor will recommend that you have a physical examination and certain screening tests periodically, depending on your age and health history. The following material indicates the most common tests ordered for men.

Eye Examination

To check for any vision problems such as near- or farsightedness or eye muscle disorders and to look for any early signs of disease.

Those at risk: Men who have diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of glaucoma.

Dental Examination

To check for tooth decay, gum disease, and early signs of oral cancer.

Those at risk: Men who smoke or chew tobacco; men with poor oral hygiene.

Blood Pressure Measurement

To detect high blood pressure early, before it leads to stroke, heart failure, or kidney failure.

Those at risk: Men with a family history of high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, or stroke; men who are overweight or have diabetes; men who smoke or use tobacco products.

Cholesterol Test

To measure the blood levels of cholesterol, which helps evaluate the risk of heart disease.

Those at risk: Men with a family history of heart disease; men who have diabetes; men who smoke or use tobacco products.

Colon and Rectum Examination

To look for signs of cancer of the colon, rectum, and prostate. Includes rectal examination performed by hand by a doctor, fecal occult blood test that checks for blood in the stool, sigmoidoscopy (see page 284), and possibly a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test.

Those at risk: Men with a family history of colon or rectal cancer; men who have intestinal polyps or ulcerative colitis; men over age 50. African American men have an increased risk of prostate cancer.

Comprehensive Physical Examination

To regularly assess your current health status and to maintain an ongoing relationship with your doctor. Be sure to see your doctor as often as he or she recommends.

Test

Dental

Blood pressure

Colon and rectum

Physical

Tests in Men Younger Than 30 Years

Men at High Risk

Once a year

Men at Average Risk

Every 2 years if you have vision problems

Every 6 months

Every 2V2 years beginning at age 20

Not needed

Twice in your 20s

As recommended by dentist Once a year

Once a year after age 20 Twice in your 20s

Tests in Men 30 to 50 Years Old

Test Men at Average Risk

Eye Every 2 years if you have vision problems; otherwise starting at age 40

Dental Every 6 months

Blood pressure Every 2V2 years

Cholesterol Every 5 years if normal

Colon and Once a year after age 40

rectum

Prostate Not needed

Men at High Risk

Once a year

As recommended by dentist Once a year

As recommended by doctor

Rectal examination and fecal occult blood test once a year; sigmoidoscopy every 3 to 5 years

Once a year beginning at age 45 if you are African American or if you are a white male with a family history of prostate cancer

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