Essential screening tests for men
Screening tests are health checks that aim to pick up health problems early in people who don't have symptoms of disease. This page is about the types of screening tests men might need. Your doctor can advise you of the specific tests you should have and how often.
Importance of screening tests
Even if you feel healthy, you should see a doctor for regular checkups. Many conditions or diseases can develop slowly over a long period and may not cause any symptoms initially. Screening tests can pick up early signs of disease. For many diseases, early management is more effective than later treatment.
Here are the most common health issues for men and how to screen for them to keep on top of your health.
One of the main screening tests for adults is for heart health. You should have a heart health check at least once every 2 years once you're over 45, or once you're over 35 if you're Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. This usually involves questions about your lifestyle and family, and a blood pressure check. You might also need a blood cholesterol test.
You might be advised to have a fasting blood sugar test for diabetes at every one to three years, depending on your level of risk.
ARE YOU AT RISK? — Are you at risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease or kidney disease? Use the Risk Checker to find out.
Hearing and eyesight
Hearing loss and eyesight problems become common with age. If you are 65 or older, you should have yearly hearing tests and eye tests.
If you are regularly exposed to loud noises at work, you should also get your hearing checked regularly.
No test is recommended for screening in men. Speak to your doctor if you are concerned about prostate cancer, for example, if you have symptoms or if you have a close relative who had prostate cancer. For more information, see the Cancer Council's website.
A faecal occult blood test (stool sample test) is recommended every two years if you are aged 50 or above. If you are at increased risk, you may be advised to have a colonoscopy instead.
Check your moles for any changes every three months. See your doctor regularly for a full body skin check, especially if you work outdoors or have had skin cancer before.
Some men have depression that is not recognised by them or by those around them. If you feel down, irritable or angry and lose interest in things you usually enjoy, talk to your doctor. Visit beyondblue’s Man Therapy website for resources to help men with mental problems.
You should see a dentist for a check-up once a year.
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Last reviewed: July 2021