Men are traditionally less likely to seek help from health care providers.
We encourage men to be active in looking after their health.
The following are some common items that can be considered:
You should visit your health care provider regularly, even if you feel healthy. The purpose of these visits is to:
- Screen for medical issues
- Assess your risk for future medical problems
- Encourage a healthy lifestyle
- Update vaccinations
- Help you get to know your provider in case of an illness
Even if you feel fine, you should still see your provider for regular check-ups. These visits can help you avoid problems in the future.
For example, the only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have it checked regularly. High blood sugar and high cholesterol levels also may not have any symptoms in the early stages.
Simple blood tests can check for these conditions.
- Have your blood pressure checked once a year. If the top number (systolic number) is between 120 and 139 or the bottom number (diastolic number) is between 80 and 89 mm Hg, then continue to have it checked every year.
- If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to have your blood pressure checked more often.
- Your cholesterol should be checked every 5 years.
- If you have a high cholesterol level, diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you will need to be checked more often.
- If you are age 45 or older, you should be screened every 3 years.
- If you are overweight, ask your provider if you should be screened at a younger age.
- If your blood pressure is above 135/80 mm Hg, or you have other risk factors for diabetes, your provider may test your blood sugar level for diabetes.
Bowel Cancer Screening
If you are under age 50, you should be screened if you have a strong family history of colon cancer or polyps. Screening may also be considered if you have risk factors such as a history of inflammatory bowel disease or polyps. If you are between ages 50 to 75, you should be screened for colorectal cancer. There are several screening tests available. Some common screening tests include:
- A stool occult blood test done every year-this is done at home and is free
- Colonoscopy every 5-10 years
You may need a colonoscopy more often if you have risk factors for colon cancer, such as:
- Ulcerative colitis
- A personal or family history of colorectal cancer
- A history of colorectal adenomas
- Flu shots are recommended each year
- You should have a tetanus-diphtheria booster (ADT) vaccination every 10 years.
- Shingles or herpes zoster vaccination is free to those aged 70-79 years.
- If you are between ages 50 to 70 and have risk factors for osteoporosis, you should discuss screening with your provider.
- Risk factors can include long-term steroid use, low body weight, smoking, heavy alcohol use, having a fracture after age 50, or a family history of osteoporosis.
- Your blood pressure should be checked at least every year.
- Your height, weight, and body mass index (BMI) should be checked regularly.
During your exam, your provider may ask you about:
- Diet and exercise
- Alcohol and tobacco use
Prostate Cancer Screening
- Most men age 50 or older should discuss screening for prostate cancer with their provider.