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Routine Maintenance for Men

A schedule for checkups and tests that will keep a man's body in good running order.

At 5 Years

For many men aged 20 and up, having a cholesterol test every five years is sufficient. If your cholesterol is found to be borderline or if you have heart disease or certain other medical conditions, then you would need to have it monitored more frequently.

  • Have a sigmoidoscopy.

    A sigmoidoscopy test may be done every five years. This is an option for colon cancer screening in conjunction with the stool tests that are done yearly.

    This test looks for cancer and polyps in the lower part of the colon that could turn cancerous. A suspect polyp or cancer may be biopsied, and a colonoscopy would be done to further evaluate the entire colon.

At 10 Years

At the age of 50 years, another option for routine colon cancer screening is a colonoscopy. This test may also be ordered if either the sigmoidoscopy is abnormal or there is blood found in stool tests. It is similar to a sigmoidoscopy except that it travels farther inside so that the doctor can visualize the entire colon. A colonoscopy is an examination with a camera threaded through your, ahem, tailpipe. If normal, then it can be repeated in 10 years. Otherwise it may be necessary to repeat the procedure earlier. Biopsies can be taken and polyps can be removed during the procedure.

People with increased risk for colon cancer may begin having colonoscopy screening much earlier -- even in childhood.

  • Tetanus time

    Have a tetanus vaccine booster every 10 years, especially if you're the kind of guy who gets a lot of cuts and scrapes.

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Reviewed on November 01, 2005

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