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How Men Can Take Charge of Their Health (It’s Easy)

June 05, 2019

Is it too much to ask a man to care for his health as he would his car? Most men are better at scheduling regular oil changes for their car than regular health checks.

“Men are much less likely to go to the doctor if they have something wrong with themselves,” says Dr. Steven Shichman, director of the Tallwood Urology & Kidney Institute and a Tallwood Men’s Health urologist. “They don’t go to the doctor if they have an acute problem and especially to care for the chronic problems.”

Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and prostate cancer are among chronic diseases that, when detected early, can be treated. But men must commit to routine screenings, just as they commit to routine car maintenance. (June is Men’s Health Month, so now is a good time to start.)

“Men are 25 percent to 35 percent more likely to die from problems related to chronic diseases just because they don’t seek care like women do,” says Dr. Shichman.

Here’s a resolution worth keeping: Just follow the age-appropriate guidelines below from the American Urological Association designed to either identify or nullify health problems.

Ages 18 to 39

Office visit/exam with primary care physician (Review health status, undergo exam, discuss concerns): Every 2 years.*

BMI weight-to height ratio: Every 2 years.

Blood pressure check: Every 2 years.

Lipids/cholesterol panel (Screen for abnormalities in lipids and/or cholesterol levels): Every 4 years.

Fasting blood sugar/hemoglobin A1c (Screen for prediabetes or diabetes): Discuss with physician (age 30+).

Urinalysis: Screen for urinary abnormalities which may be sign of other diseases: Every 2 years.

Sexually transmitted diseases: Sexually active adults at risk for STDs should be screened: Discuss with physician.

Tetanus booster vaccination: Every 10 years.

Self-examinations: Monthly.

  • Testicles: to find lumps in early stages.
  • Skin: to look for changing moles or early lesions.

*More frequent office visits may be recommended by your primary care physician based on other health factors.

Ages 40-49

Office visit/exam with primary care physician (Review health status, undergo exam, discuss concerns): Every 2 years.*

BMI weight-to height ratio: Every 2 years.

Blood pressure check: Every 2 years.

Lipids/cholesterol panel (Screen for abnormalities in lipids and/or cholesterol levels): Every 4 years.

Fasting blood sugar/hemoglobin A1c (Screen for prediabetes or diabetes): Every 3 years.

Urinalysis: Screen for urinary abnormalities which may be sign of other diseases: Every 2 years.

Colonoscopy (Flexible scope examines colon for polyps and early cancers): If family history or genetic risk factors.

PSA blood test (Evaluate for prostate abnormalities, such as infection or cancer): If family history or African American.

Chest X-ray (Consider yearly if a smoker age 45-plus): Discuss with physician.

Sexually transmitted diseases (Sexually active adults at risk for STDs should be screened): Discuss with physician.

Tetanus booster vaccination: Every 10 years.

Self-examinations: Monthly.

  • Testicles: to find lumps in early stages.
  • Skin: to look for changing moles or early lesions.

*More frequent office visits may be recommended by your PCP based on other health factors.

Ages 50-69

Office visit/exam with primary care physician (Review health status, undergo exam, discuss concerns): Every year.

BMI weight-to height ratio: Every year.

Blood pressure check: Every year.

Lipids/cholesterol panel (Screen for abnormalities in lipids and/or cholesterol levels): Every 4 years.

Fasting blood sugar/hemoglobin A1c (Screen for prediabetes or diabetes): Every 3 years.

Urinalysis: Screen for urinary abnormalities which may be sign of other diseases: Every year.

Rectal exam (Screens for hemorrhoids or anal/prostate abnormalities): Every year.

Colonoscopy (Flexible scope examines colon for polyps and early cancers): Every 10 years.*

PSA blood test (Evaluate for prostate abnormalities, such as infection or cancer): Every 1-2 years at age 55 and up.

Chest X-ray (Consider yearly if a smoker age 45-plus): Discuss with physician.

Bone mineral density scan (Assess bone health): Discuss with physician.

Sexually transmitted diseases (Sexually active adults at risk for STDs should be screened): Discuss with physician.

Tetanus booster vaccination: Every 10 years.

Self-examinations: Monthly.

  • Testicles: to find lumps in early stages.
  • Skin: to look for changing moles or early lesions.

*More frequent office visits may be recommended by your PCP based on other health factors.

Age 70 and older

Office visit/exam with primary care physician (Review health status, undergo exam, discuss concerns): Every year.

BMI weight-to height ratio: Every year.

Blood pressure check: Every year.

Lipids/cholesterol panel (Screen for abnormalities in lipids and/or cholesterol levels): Every 4 years.

Fasting blood sugar/hemoglobin A1c (Screen for prediabetes or diabetes): Every 3 years.

Urinalysis: Screen for urinary abnormalities which may be sign of other diseases: Every year.

Colonoscopy (Flexible scope examines colon for polyps and early cancers): Every 10 years.*

Chest X-ray (Consider yearly if a smoker age 45-plus): Discuss with physician.

Bone mineral density scan (Assess bone health): Discuss with physician.

Sexually transmitted diseases (Sexually active adults at risk for STDs should be screened): Discuss with physician.

Tetanus booster vaccination: Every 10 years.

Self-examinations: Monthly.

  • Testicles: to find lumps in early stages.
  • Skin: to look for changing moles or early lesions.

*More frequent office visits may be recommended by your PCP based on other health factors.

Committed to maintaining your health in 2019? Start by talking to your primary care physician. Or call Tallwood Men’s Health at 860.678.5700. For more information, click here.