Besides encouraging the men in your life to exercise, eat a high-fiber/low-fat diet, quit smoking and do monthly self-exams, the most important step you can take is to get them into the habit of getting regular medical check-ups. Here are several health maintenance milestones recommended by leading health organizations: ENSURING

IN THEIR 20S

  • A complete physical every three years
  • Check blood pressure every year
  • Screening for cancers of the thyroid, testicles, lymph nodes, mouth and skin every three years
  • Cholesterol test for total, LDL and HDL (the good kind) every three years
  • Testicular self-exam every month

IN THEIR 30S, ALL OF THE ABOVE, PLUS

  • A complete physical every two years

IN THEIR 40S, ALL OF THE ABOVE, PLUS

  • A complete physical every two years
  • A baseline prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and digital rectal exam (DRE) at age 40 for all men
  • A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and digital rectal exam (DRE) every year if in a high-risk group. Other men should consult with their health care provider about an annual exam.
  • Cancer tests every year
  • A stool test (for colon and rectal cancers) every year

STARTING AT AGE 50, ALL OF THE ABOVE, PLUS

  • A sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy (for colon cancers) every three to four years or as recommended by your health care provider
  • A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and digital rectal exam (DRE) test every year

Encourage the men in your life to get regular checkups and age-appropriate screenings. Regular checkups improve health and extend life!. ENSURING

Many of the issues covered here can be difficult to talk about but it’s essential that you talk about them with the men in your life. Take seriously even the smallest symptom of any of the conditions outlined above because they could indicate a more serious—even life threatening—condition.

If you don’t have a family physician or can’t afford one, look for health fairs and free screening events in your area. Ask your employer, fraternal organization or place of worship to establish a yearly health fair or screening event. Men’s Health Network can provide advice and guidance for these and other events.

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