Screening tests and vaccines are an important part of managing your health. A screening test is done to find diseases in people who don't have any symptoms. The goal is to find a disease early so lifestyle changes and checkups can reduce the risk of disease. Or the goal may be to find it early to treat it most effectively. Screening tests are not used to diagnose a disease. But they are used to see if more testing is needed. Health counseling is important, too. Below are guidelines for these, for men ages 65 and older. Talk with your healthcare provider to make sure you’re up to date on what you need.
Who needs it
Abdominal aortic aneurysm
Men ages 65 to 75 who have ever smoked
At routine exams
Yearly checkup if your blood pressure is normal*
Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg*
If your blood pressure is higher than normal, follow the advice of your healthcare provider.
All men at average risk in this age group through age 75 who are in good health. For men ages 76 to 85, talk with your healthcare provider to see if you should continue screening. For men 85 and older, screening is not advised.
Several tests are available and are used at different times.
For tests that find polyps and cancer:
Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, or
Colonoscopy every 10 years, or
CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years
For tests that mainly find cancer:
Yearly fecal occult blood test, or
Yearly fecal immunochemical test, or
Stool DNA test every 3 years
You will need a colonoscopy if you choose a different test and have an abnormal test result, Screening advice varies among expert groups. Talk with your healthcare provider about which tests are best for you.
Some people should be screened using a different schedule because of their personal or family health history. Talk with your healthcare provider about your health history.
All men in this age group
Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes
All men starting at age 45 and men without symptoms at any age who are overweight or obese and have 1 or more extra risk factors for diabetes
At least every 3 years (annual testing if your blood sugar has begun to rise)
Type 2 diabetes
All men with prediabetes
Anyone at increased risk for infection
High cholesterol and triglycerides
At least every 5 years
Adults ages 55 to 80 who have smoked
Yearly screening in smokers with 30 pack-year history of smoking or who quit within 15 years
All men in this age group, talk to healthcare provider about risks and benefits of digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening***
Check with your healthcare provider
Every 1 to 2 years. If you have a chronic disease, ask your healthcare provider how often you need an exam.
Aspirin for primary prevention of cardiovascular events
Men ages 45 to 69 when potential benefits from a decrease in heart attacks outweigh the harm or risks from an increase in gastrointestinal bleeding
When diagnosed with a risk for cardiovascular disease. Check with your healthcare provider before starting
Diet and exercise
Adults who are overweight or obese
When diagnosed and at routine exams
Fall prevention (exercise, vitamin D supplements)
Sexually transmitted infection prevention
Tobacco use and tobacco-related disease
Tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Td/Tdap) booster
Every 10 years. Tdap is advised if you have contact with a child younger than 12 months. Either Td or Tdap can be used if you have no contact with infants.
All adults ages 65 and older who have no previous infection or vaccine**
2 doses. The second dose should be given at least 4 weeks after the first dose.
Yearly, when the vaccine is available
Haemophilus influenzae type B (HIB)
People at risk
1 to 3 doses
People at risk, such as travelers
2 doses given at least 6 months apart. These should give long-lasting protection
People at risk, such as travelers and those with chronic liver disease
3 doses; the second dose should be given 1 month after the first dose, and the third dose should be given at least 2 months after the second dose (or at least 4 months after the first dose)
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23)
All adults ages 65 and older
1 dose of each vaccine
All men ages 60 and older
2 doses of the Recombinant Zoster Vaccine (RZV), 2-6 months apart. RZV is advised even for people who have had the live shingles vaccine called Zostavax. There is no live virus in RZV.
*From the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guideline
**There may be exceptions. Talk with your healthcare provider.
***National Comprehensive Cancer Network
If the test is positive, a colonoscopy should be done.
The multiple stool take-home test should be used. One test done by the healthcare provider in the office is not enough for testing. A colonoscopy should be done if the test is positive.
1 From the American Academy of Ophthalmology
Screening guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, except Hepatitis C from CDC
Vaccine schedule from the CDC