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    National Men’s Health Week is June 13 – 20 this year! Now’s a great time to take pause and make sure you’re up to date on all your wellness visits. Here’s a look at some of the recommended health screenings for men at different ages.  

     

    For Men 18+:

     

    • Annual Physical: How long has it been since you’ve made an appointment to see your doctor? An annual wellness appointment allows you to check in on your overall physical and mental health, take a look at your diet, exercise, and self-care routine, and find out about necessary vaccines (which you may be able to get at your Rite Aid pharmacy).
     
    • Testicular Exam: Testicular cancer may cause symptoms like a swollen or enlarged testicle or a lump on the testicle, but this is not always the case.  Some doctors conduct a testicular exam as part of a routine physical exam.  They may also recommend monthly self-examination, especially for men with risk factors for testicular cancer.  Although the American Cancer Society does not have a recommendation on regular testicular self-exams for all men, they do advise men to be aware of testicular cancer and to see a doctor right away if they notice changes in their testicles.
     
    • Flu Shot and Other Immunizations: It’s recommended that almost everyone aged 6 months and older get an annual flu shot. Not just to protect yourself, but to also protect those around you who are at higher risk of getting sick and developing serious complications, such as young children and seniors. Check in with your Rite Aid pharmacist for an immunization evaluation to help determine which vaccines you need.  Many can be administered in a private setting near the pharmacy.
     
    • Blood Pressure: Starting at age 18, it’s recommended that men get their blood pressure checked every 2 years at a minimum, but ideally on a regular basis. This is a wellness check that can be done at your Rite Aid Pharmacy!  We have blood pressure machines available for patients to use at their convenience.
     
    • Cholesterol: Cholesterol should be checked at age 20 for all men with known risk factors for heart disease.  Those with no known risk can begin screening at age 35. If your levels are normal, you typically do not need to have the test repeated for 5 years.

     

     

    • Dental Health: You know what your dentist says, floss once per day and brush your teeth twice per day. Also consider a fluoride rinse to prevent cavities. And of course, it’s a good idea to visit your dentist every six months for a cleaning and check-up.
     
    • Infectious Disease: A one-time test for hepatitis C is recommended for all adults ages 18 - 79.  Additional infectious disease tests may be appropriate depending on lifestyle and medical history.

     

    • Skin Exam: Many providers conduct skin checks as part of a regular physical exam.  People with a higher risk of skin cancer may have exams more often.  It is important to be aware of your normal pattern of moles, freckles, and blemishes and report any changes or suspicious areas to your doctor.

     

    For Men 40+:

     

    • Eye Exam: Around the age of 40, it’s a good idea to make a visit to the ophthalmologist (if you haven’t already) to review the overall health of your eyes.  From age 40 – 54, an eye exam is recommended every 2-4 years and every 1-3 years if you are aged 55-64. By the time you’re 65+, it’s recommended to make these visits more frequent (every 1-2 years) to test for macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts. Of course, if you have certain medical conditions, you may be required to visit your ophthalmologist on a more frequent basis.
     
    • Blood Glucose: For those with no diabetes risk factors, screening should begin at age 45.  If results are normal, a blood glucose test should be repeated roughly every 3 years to test for diabetes. If you’re at risk for diabetes, your doctor or health care provider may recommend a test earlier.

     

    Men 45+:

     

    • Colorectal Cancer: It’s recommended that men ages 45 – 75 be screened for colorectal cancer.  The frequency of testing depends on the test used. One of the most common tests is a colonoscopy screening every 10 years, which looks for any abnormalities and cancer in the colon.  Screening before age 45 or more frequent testing may be necessary if you have certain risk factors such as a strong family history of colorectal cancer or a gastrointestinal condition like inflammatory bowel disease or ulcerative colitis. 
     
    • Prostate Cancer: Men ages 55 to 69 should talk to their doctor about the benefits and risks of screening for prostate cancer.  The discussion should also take place in younger men with a higher risk for prostate cancer.  Those who make the informed decision to be screened should receive a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test.  A digital rectal exam (DRE) may also be done as part of the screening.   PSA-based screening for prostate cancer in men 70 years and older is not recommended.    
     
    • Lung Cancer: Everyone ages 50 – 80 years with a 20 pack-year smoking history who still smoke or have quit within the past 15 years should have an annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT).

     

    Men 65+:

     

    • Abdominal aortic aneurysm:  Men ages 65 – 75 who have ever smoked should have a 1-time screening by ultrasound for abdominal aortic aneurysm.
     
    • Bone Density: Men aged 70 and over should consider getting a bone mineral density test for osteoporosis.  If you are age 50 – 70 and have risk factors for osteoporosis, discuss screening with your doctor. 

     

    References:

    1. A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia [Internet]. Johns Creek (GA): Ebix, Inc., A.D.A.M.; c1997-2022. Health screenings for men ages 18 to 39; [updated 2021 Sept 3; reviewed 2020 Apr 19; cited 2022 May 12]; Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007464.htm
    2. A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia [Internet]. Johns Creek (GA): Ebix, Inc., A.D.A.M.; c1997-2022. Health screenings for men ages 40 to 64; [updated 2021 Sept 3; reviewed 2020 Apr 19; cited 2022 May 12]; Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007465.htm
    3. A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia [Internet]. Johns Creek (GA): Ebix, Inc., A.D.A.M.; c1997-2022. Health screenings for women age 65 and older; [updated 2021 Aug 17; reviewed 2020 Apr 19; cited 2022 Apr 28]; Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007466.htm
    4. American Cancer Society. Testicular Cancer. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/testicular-cancer.html  Accessed May 12, 2022.