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
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.