If you’re a man wondering what sort of check ups you should be getting from your doctor, well, the answer is that it depends on a number of factors. Most importantly among them is generally going to be age. The list of routine exams that you should be undergoing will change depending on how old you are. So let’s start with the first decade of autonomous adulthood:
Your physician is going to tell you precisely which exams are most important to your health depending on your specific needs, your physique, your medical history and so on, so your eventual list of regular exams might not wind up looking exactly like this one. But, in general, young men in their 20s can expect to make the following exams a regular part of their lives:
1) Annual Physical
Your annual physical is pretty much your solid foundation for good health. This is where you take care of the basics. Your annual physical should include a blood pressure check, height and weight checks and general testing of reflexes and things of that nature.
2) Testicular Cancer Screening
Some guys do this annually, others every few years, but you should be self-testing on a monthly basis for lumps and irregularities in your testicles.
3) Cholesterol Testing
You only need to do this one every five years, but it is nevertheless quite important.
If you have a lot of partners, you’re going to want to add regular STD screenings to this list. Some young men may want to get a start on cardio exams, too, to stay heart healthy.
30s and 40s
Around your thirties, you’re going to want to be undergoing all of the exams listed above, but you’re also going to need to add the following to the mix:
4) Eyesight testing
If you’ve generally had good eyesight, it may be in your thirties that you start to develop poor eyesight. It’s important to keep a check on it.
At this point it may be very important for your doctor to start looking for irregularities in the heart, depending on risk factors.
In your forties, you’re going to want to be doing all of the above, as well as…
6) Coronary Heart Disease Screening
Your physician might not consider this a serious concern unless you have a history of heart disease in your family.
50s and 60s
Many serious ailments and conditions may not present themselves until you reach later middle-age. By your fifties, you’re going to have a general idea of what to expect from your body, assuming that you’ve been going to your doctor appointments, going through your exams and paying attention when your physician tells you about your risk factors. So take all of the above-listed examinations, and add to them the following:
7) Screening for Prostate Cancer
This becomes very important once you hit fifty. Many of us choose to undergo the exam at a younger age to be safe, of course.
8) Diabetes Type II
Diabetes type II might not develop until you hit retirement age, and even a lifetime of healthy eating isn’t always a guarantee against it.
9) Screening for Depression
Although depression starts to become less common after men hit a certain age, poor diet, lack of exercise and other factors can start contributing to clinical depression in your fifties and sixties.
10) Screening for Colon Cancer
At this age, colon cancer is a serious risk.
11) Hearing Exam
Many older men refuse to take a hearing exam because they feel that a hearing aid makes them look old, weak, lacking in virility. Hearing aids today are a far cry from the big, plastic aids of yesteryear that were almost as big as the ear itself. Think earbuds more than headphones.
12) Alzheimer’s Screening
In your sixties, it becomes more important than ever to keep your mind limber, and screening for Alzheimer’s disease becomes vital.
70s and Beyond
We’re living longer every day, and many of the people reading this may easily hit the triple digits. But we only get there if we take care of ourselves. Once you get to seventy, you’re going to want to add the following to your routine exams:
13) Annual Electrocardiogram
Making this an annual exam may save your life.
14) Cancer Screening
At this point, you’re going to want to be screening for cancer based on your particular risk factors.
Add this to Alzheimer’s screening. By this point, you should be working various brain-training activities into your routine in order to stay sharp, whether it be crossword puzzles, chess or heavy reading.
Staying healthy can be a pain sometimes, but without these exams, you’re giving poor health a chance to sneak up on you.
What other physical exams do you think men need to take? What’s the next one on your to-do list?