Screening Tests for Men

Screening tests are designed to detect hidden disease in otherwise healthy people. Which ones you should have aren't set in stone—experts often disagree on when to start having these tests, how often they should be done, and when to stop.

A good guide comes from the United States Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of experts. Its recommendations help define high-quality preventive health care for Americans.

Keep in mind that the benefits and risks of screening tests and procedures change as you get older. Your doctor can help you tailor the recommendations below based on your goals of care, personal and family health history, age, and life expectancy.

Test

Recommendation

Abdominal aortic aneurysm

Have a one-time ultrasound imaging of your heart and aorta (the large blood vessel that comes off the heart) between the ages of 65 and 75 if you have ever smoked.

Blood pressure

Have your blood pressured at least every once every two years if it is in the healthy range (under 120/80) or once a year if it is above normal (between 120/80 and 139/89).

Colorectal cancer

Recommended for men ages 50-75. Talk to your doctor about which screening test, (fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy) or combination of tests, is best for you and how often you need it and if you should continue having these tests after 75.

Diabetes

Get tested for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure.

HIV/AIDS

Get tested at least once for HIV/AIDS after age 20, or earlier if you are at high risk for being infected by the human immunodeficiency virus. Discuss further testing with your doctor.

Lipid profile (total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides)

Starting at age 35, all men should have their cholesterol checked regularly. Men at high risk for developing heart disease should start at age 20.

Lung cancer

Annual testing with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) between ages 55 and 80 if you have smoked the equivalent of a pack a day for 30 years and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.

Sexually transmitted infections (Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis)

Get tested for chlamydia yearly through age 24 if you are sexually active. After age 25, get tested for chlamydia and other sexually transmitted diseases if you are at increased risk for getting a sexually transmitted infection.

Screening Tests for Men Articles

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Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths and the third most common cancer in men. Screening tests to help find and often remove polyps before they become cancer are recommended for men ages 50 to 75, yet many avoid them. To help highlight the urgency for regular colon cancer screenings, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has issued updated recommendations and described tests that might be a better option than an invasive colonoscopy, especially for lower-risk men. More »

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Prepare questions before your doctor visit and follow certain guidelines during the exam to maximize the brief time you have with your doctor. (Locked) More »

Colon cancer testing: What's in it for you?

Screening exams can prevent colorectal cancer, although the number of lives this ultimately saves is less clear. Colonoscopy is considered the most thorough exam for finding precancerous growths on the colon wall, although sigmoidoscopy and stool testing are also effective if performed often enough. Despite uncertainties, colorectal cancer screening is one of the most effective preventive health measures. (Locked) More »

Which tests do you need in 2016?

Screening for disease and early detection are essential to optimal health and help identify problems when they're more treatable and curable. It's best for individuals to talk to their doctors about which screenings are right for them. (Locked) More »