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Screening tests for men

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Check the guidelines listed here to find out about important screening tests for men. Keep in mind that these are guidelines only. Your doctor or nurse will personalize the timing of the screening tests you need based on many factors. Ask your doctor or nurse if you don't understand why a certain test is recommended for you. Check with your insurance plan to find out which tests are covered.

Where do these guidelines come from?

The screening guidelines listed here are recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). The USPSTF is a group of non-Federal experts in prevention (stopping disease before it starts). USPSTF recommendations are evidence-based. This means that science supports USPSTF screening guidelines. The USPSTF is made up of primary care providers (such as internists, pediatricians, family physicians, gynecologists/obstetricians, nurses, and health behavior specialists).

Get regular checkups

Your doctor or nurse can help you stay healthy. Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need to be seen for a routine checkup. Use this time to bring up any health concerns or questions you have. Make sure to ask about:

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Screening tests

Screening testsAges 18–39Ages 40–49Ages 50–64Ages 65 and older
Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening   Get this one-time screening if you are age 65 to 75 and have ever smoked.
Blood pressure testGet tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.
Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.
Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.
Get tested at least every 2 years if you have normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

Get tested once a year if you have blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

Discuss treatment with your doctor or nurse if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.
Cholesterol testStarting at age 20 until age 35, get a cholesterol test if you are at increased risk for heart disease.

Starting at age 35 and older, get a cholesterol test regularly.

Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.
Get a cholesterol test regularly.

Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.
Get a cholesterol test regularly.

Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.
Get a cholesterol test regularly.

Ask your doctor or nurse how often you need your cholesterol tested.
Colorectal cancer screening
(using fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy)
  Starting at age 50, get screened for colorectal cancer.

Talk to your doctor or nurse about which screening test is best for you and how often you need it.
Get screened for colorectal cancer through age 75.

Talk to your doctor or nurse about which screening test is best for you and how often you need it.
Diabetes screeningGet screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure.Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure.Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure.Get screened for diabetes if your blood pressure is higher than 135/80 or if you take medicine for high blood pressure.
HIV testGet tested if you are at increased risk for HIV.

Discuss your risk with your doctor or nurse.
Get tested if you are at increased risk for HIV.

Discuss your risk with your doctor or nurse.
Get tested if you are at increased risk for HIV.

Discuss your risk with your doctor or nurse.
Get tested if you are at increased risk for HIV.

Discuss your risk with your doctor or nurse.
Syphilis screeningGet tested for syphilis if you are at increased risk.Get tested for syphilis if you are at increased risk.Get tested for syphilis if you are at increased risk.Get tested for syphilis if you are at increased risk.

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More information on Screening tests for men

Read more from womenshealth.gov

  • Syphilis Fact Sheet - This fact sheet explains what syphilis is, how it is spread, and how best to avoid infection. It describes symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment, and lists sources to contact for more information on syphilis.
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  • Am I at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes? Taking Steps to Lower Your Risk of Getting Diabetes - This fact sheet defines diabetes and reviews the signs and symptoms of the disease. It discusses the risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes and the ways it can be prevented.
    http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/riskfortype2/index.htm
  • Calculate Your Body Mass Index External Website Policy - The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to both adult men and women. Enter your weight and height to find your BMI. The BMI tables will help you determine whether you are underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.
    http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/
  • Cholesterol - This Web page links users to many publications and organizations providing information on cholesterol testing, treatment for high cholesterol, and ways to improve cholesterol levels through lifestyle changes.
    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/cholesterol.html
  • Colon and Rectal Cancer - This website has links to information on colon and rectal cancer. Topics include treatment, prevention, causes, screenings, statistics, and more.
    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/colon-and-rectal/
  • Colonoscopy - This fact sheet explains what a colonoscopy is and why it is performed, how to prepare for one, and how the procedure is performed.
    http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/colonoscopy/index.htm
  • Diabetes Overview - This fact sheet explains the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It explains how type 2 — the most common kind — is diagnosed and managed. The fact sheet also provides information on the scope, impact, cost of diabetes, and research currently underway.
    http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/overview/index.htm
  • Fact Sheets - Alcohol Use and Health - This fact sheet talks about how to know if you have an alcohol problem and the immediate and long-term health risks of alcohol.
    http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm
  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy - This publication explains what flexible sigmoidoscopy is, why and how it is performed, how it differs from colonoscopy, and how to prepare for one.
    http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/sigmoidoscopy/
  • Free Help to Quit Smoking - This website has information to help you quit smoking. There are fact sheets about smoking and your health, news about tobacco risk, and a live chat and hotline service for more information.
    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/tobacco/smoking
  • Frequently Asked Questions About HIV and STD Testing (Copyright © HIVTest.org) External Website Policy - This publication answers common questions about testing for HIV, including who should get tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and what HIV test results mean.
    http://www.hivtest.org/FAQ.aspx
  • pdf icon HIV/AIDS Among Gay and Bisexual Men - This publication discusses the increase of HIV among men who have sex with men. It also discusses the risks of unprotected sex and ways you can prevent being exposed to HIV/AIDS.
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/docs/FastFacts-MSM-FINAL508COMP.pdf
  • Men and Heart Disease Fact Sheet - This fact sheet provides statistics about men and heart disease and explains public health efforts to help people prevent or cope with heart disease.
    http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_men_heart.htm
  • Men Stay Healthy at 50+: Checklists for Your Health - This booklet describes the ways that people over 50 can stay healthy. It gives information on the prevention of major diseases or conditions through lifestyle, screening tests, and immunizations.
    http://www.ahrq.gov/ppip/men50.htm
  • My Family Health Portrait - This website offers a computerized tool to help make it easy for anyone to create a complete portrait of their family's health.
    https://familyhistory.hhs.gov/fhh-web/home.action
  • National HIV and STD Testing Resources External Website Policy - This website has information and resources on HIV testing, including a national database of HIV testing sites. It also provides basic information about HIV/AIDS and behaviors that place a person at risk of infection.
    http://www.hivtest.org/
  • pdf icon Screening for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm - If you are a man age 65 to 75 and have ever smoked, talk with your doctor about screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm. This publication talks about what an abdominal aortic aneurysm is, who is at risk, and how the screening is done.
    http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/cvd/aaapatient.pdf
  • Your Guide to Lowering High Blood Pressure - This website has an interactive guide that answers common questions about high blood pressure and offers tips and quizzes. It also provides information on medications and suggestions on how to talk to your doctor.
    http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/hbp/index.html
  • pdf icon Your Head: An Owner's Manual: Understanding and Overcoming Depression, Anxiety, and Stress (Copyright © Men's Health Network) External Website Policy - This manual provides men of all ages with information about mental health issues, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. It also offers practical ideas that can make a difference in men’s lives.
    http://www.menshealthnetwork.org/library/ownersmanual.pdf

Connect with other organizations

Content last updated: July 16, 2012.

Resources last updated: September 25, 2013.

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