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Men— Do You Need a Health Tune-Up?

June 11, 2018

We like taking care of our vehicles. After all, they take care of us. We rely on them to get us from place to place every day and they don’t ask for much in return. If we keep them tuned up regularly, they can give us years of enjoyment and utility.

The same can be said of our own health. Our bodies have been taking care of us every day. They’ve been stress tested, and they’ve held up for the most part. We haven’t always put premium fuel in them, but they still seem to get the job done. Just like your car though, your body comes with a maintenance schedule.

The following are some screening tests and immunizations that most men need. Schedule an appointment with your health care provider to discuss what screenings and exams you need and when you need them. Although you and your health care provider may decide that a different schedule is best for you, this plan can guide your discussion.

20s and 30s

Vaccinations

Vaccine

Frequency

Flu

Annually

Tetanus booster

Every 10 years

Whooping Cough (Tdap booster)

Unless you’re certain you’ve had one as a preteen or teenager.

HVP (Human papillomavirus)

If you’re under 21 and have not had one or if you’re under 26 and have sex with men.

 

Screenings

Test

Frequency

STDs

Everyone should be tested at least once for HIV. Sexually active men that have sex with other men should be tested annually for chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.

Blood Pressure

Once every two years

Cholesterol

Starting at 35 test every 3 to 5 years.

Family history? Start at 25.

Type 2 Diabetes

Overweight, obese, family history, or high blood pressure and cholesterol- get a fasting blood glucose test and HbA1c test every 3 years.

 

Review with the Doc: Sexual history, diet and exercise, sleep habits, smoking, alcohol consumption, and substance abuse habits.

Tips:

  • Find a primary care doctor that you are comfortable with. This physician will get to know you and your health history over the years.
  • Self-screen for testicular cancer monthly since it is the most common cancer in men ages 15-34. Although rare, be sure to tell you doctor about lumps or pain.
  • Get tested for STDs every time you change your sexual partner.

40s and 50s

Vaccinations

Vaccine

Frequency

Flu

Annually

Tetanus Booster

Every 10 years

 

Screenings

Test

Frequency

STDs

Sexually active men that have sex with other men should be tested annually for chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.

Blood Pressure

At least once every 2 years.

Cholesterol

Every 3 to 5 years depending on results

Type 2 Diabetes

Overweight, obese, family history, or high blood pressure and cholesterol- get a fasting blood glucose test and HbA1c test every 3 years.

Colon Cancer

Starting at 50 ask your doctor about your options:

·         Colonoscopy every 10 years

·         Stool test annually

·         Sigmoidoscopy every 5 years with stool test every 3 years.

Prostate Cancer

Starting at 50 ask your doctor about the necessity of regular prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests

 

Review with the Doc: Sexual history, diet and exercise, sleep habits, smoking, alcohol consumption, and substance abuse habits.

Tips:

  • The metabolism slows down during these decades. Enforce regular physical activity and healthy diet.
  • Talk to your doctor about prostate screenings. There is debate about the frequency of testing. Let your doctor know your family history. African American men are at a higher risk.

 

 

 

60s and Beyond

Vaccinations

Vaccine

Frequency

Flu

Annually

Tetanus booster

Every 10 years

Shingles

Once at age 60

Pneumonia

Twice. One dose of PCV13 (Penvar) at age 65. One dose of PPSV23 (Pneumovax) a year later

 

Screenings

Test

Frequency

STDs

Sexually active men that have sex with other men should be tested annually for chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.

Blood Pressure

At least once every 2 years

Cholesterol

Every 3 to 5 years depending on results

Type 2 Diabetes

Overweight, obese, family history, or high blood pressure and cholesterol- get a fasting blood glucose test and HbA1c test every 3 years.

Colon Cancer

Continue Screening:

·         Colonoscopy every 10 years

·         Stool test annually

·         Sigmoidoscopy every 5 years with stool test every 3 years.

Tests can stop at 75 years

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)

Between 65 and 75: Former smoker? Get an ultrasound to test for AAA. Areas of the aorta can rupture if enlarged too much.

 

Review with the doc: Sexual history, diet and exercise, sleep habits, smoking, alcohol consumption, and substance abuse habits.

Tips:

  • Many seniors are introduced to new sex partners after the loss of a spouse and the risks of contracting STDs is heightened. Continue wearing a condom to prevent contracting an STD.
  • Keep your brain powered up. Many people begin getting forgetful in these years.
  • Socializing and physical activity are great for cognitive and emotional health.
  • 30 minutes a day of aerobic exercise per five days a week and two days a week of strength training is increase over all happiness and physical function in older adults.

These recommendations are provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (the USPSTF is an independent medical panel of national experts.).

June is Men’s Health Month. If you haven’t already, make an appointment with your doctor for a check up!