Before the age of 50, as long as they are fit and have no pre-existing health conditions, men only need to go to the doctor every three to five years, except for athletes who need to have yearly physical exams before participating in competitive sports. After 50, it is recommended that men begin seeing their primary care provider at least once a year. Blood pressure needs to be checked every year before the age of 50; however, this can be done at local pharmacies, like CVS and Walgreens. Cholesterol levels should be checked every 5 years.
Starting at age 50, adults need to begin getting colonoscopies every ten years to screen for colorectal cancer. This is also an important time for men to open up to their doctors about their personal and family health history, and any symptoms or changes in their overall health, in order to have any risk for other cancers, such as prostate cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other conditions properly assessed.
Getting recommended vaccinations throughout their lives is also important for men to maintain overall health. It is recommended to get the flu vaccine yearly, as they are formulated to protect against the different strains of the virus circulating each year. It is also recommended for adults to get the shingles vaccine at age 60, and both the pneumococcal and Prevnar vaccinations at age 65 to protect against several different strains of pneumonia. It is important for men to establish a primary care physician early on, to get a baseline of their health condition and develop a trusting relationship with their provider. Fortunately, Cone Health has an exceptional network of primary care providers dedicated to educating and caring for men throughout the community in order to promote overall wellbeing and good quality of life.
Jade Breeback is a certified physician assistant at Cone Health Primary Care & Sports Medicine at MedCenter Kernersville. She is a native of Davidson County and recently completed her medical training at Wake Forest University.