Routine Maintenance for Men
A schedule for checkups and tests that will keep a man's body in good running order.
A conscientious car owner examines belts and hoses every month. He should
also check his testicles that often.
is simple and quick. Gently roll each testicle between
your thumb and fingers, feeling for any abnormal lumps. If you do feel a lump,
talk to your doctor without delay.
Rust spots on your vehicle's exterior should be fixed before they spread.
Likewise, you should keep a close watch on your skin for moles that could be
cancerous. Take a moment once a month to examine your whole body, using a
mirror to see your back. A suspicious mole is one that is asymmetrical, has an
irregular border, uneven color, is larger than a pencil eraser, or seems to be
changing in size, shape, or color.
At Six Months
In addition to brushing and flossing, visit the dentist every six months for
a cleaning and complete checkup.
You don't have to worry about your car catching something in a crowded
parking lot. People, however, are prone to infectious diseases like influenza.
Every year 5%-20% of the U.S. population comes down with the flu. The
composition of the flu vaccine changes each year, so being vaccinated once is
not enough. Get your shot in the fall, before the flu season peaks.
The specter of bird flu has been frightening people lately but don't take
typical influenza too lightly. "People get extremely sick," Kellerman
says. "I've had patients, even younger patients, die of influenza."
Check blood pressure.
Keeping your blood pressure in the normal range is at least as important as
keeping the correct air pressure in your tires. "Everybody ought to know
their blood pressure," Kellerman says. Men over age 50 or those who have a
family history of high blood pressure should have it checked at least every
Colon cancer screening
Most routine colon cancer screening begins at the age of 50. On a yearly
basis, doctors may provide special take-home tests to check for hidden blood in
Prostate cancer screening
At the age of 50 most men may start screening for prostate cancer every
year. Screening may begin at a younger age for those with higher risk, such as
being African-American or having a family history of prostate cancer.
The two types of tests are prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, and the
digital rectal exam.
Screening can catch prostate cancer early, but studies on whether early
detection saves lives have shown mixed results. "The downside is that we
may find a false positive," Kellerman says. That could mean having surgery
that you don't actually need. "Sit down with your physician and discuss
it," Kellerman says.
Full physical exam
A routine yearly physical is a good time to touch base with your primary
care provider about your health and preventive screening. It is also the time
to give updates on your medical history and receive a thorough all-over