What is a well-male exam?

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Do men really take better care of their cars than themselves? A nationwide survey says they do.

According to findings by Men’s Health Network and Abbott, about 70 percent of men find it easier to care for their cars than their personal health. Additionally, more than 40 percent reported they would be more likely to address car issues than their health. The survey questioned 501 men, age 45 to 65.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), adult well-male exams promote optimal health and wellbeing. They screen for chronic diseases, and provide age-appropriate cancer screening and immunizations.

According to AAFP and the Mayo Clinic, a well-male exam typically consists of the following:

Physical exam

Men older than 50 should have a yearly physical exam. Men younger than 50 should have a physical exam at least every three years, preferably every year. A medical history review should include tobacco and alcohol use, the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, diet, and exercise habits. The physical exam includes blood pressure screening, and height and weight measurements to calculate body mass index.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (triple A)

The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends a one-time triple A screening ultrasound for men age 65 to 75 who have never smoked. The aorta is the body’s main supplier of blood. If ruptured, it can cause life-threatening bleeding.

Cholesterol

Starting at age 18, men at average risk for heart disease should have a cholesterol screening every five years. More frequent testing may be needed for men who smoke, eat a poor diet, are overweight, have diabetes, are physically inactive, or are older than 45.

Colon Cancer

Colon cancer screening should begin at age 45 or 10 years prior to the diagnosis of colon cancer in an immediate relative. For example, a man should be screened at age 36 if his mother was diagnosed at age 46.

Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association recommends a diabetes screening for men over 45. If normal, screening should occur at least every three years thereafter.