Physical exam
Every two years from 40-49; every year after 50.

Include health education as part of a physical exam.

See "Best supplements for men's health"

Testical self-exam
Monthly.

To find abnormal lumps in their earliest stages.

Skin self-exam
Monthly.

To look for signs of early skin cancer. Men get more of their skin cancers on their backs, where they can't see them and, therefore, may need help checking.

See "Men save skin with natural shaving products"

Oral self-exam
Monthly.

To find abnormal lumps in their earliest stages.

Breast self-exam
Monthly.
To find abnormal lumps in their earliest stages.

Blood pressure
Every year.

Elevated blood pressure, called hypertension, is a risk factor for stroke. African-American men are at extra risk for high blood pressure.

Rectal exam
Every year starting at 40.

Screens for hemorrhoids, lower rectal problems, and colon and prostate cancers.

Hemoccult
Every year after 40.

Screens the stool for microscopic amounts of blood that can be the first sign of polyps or colon cancer.

PSA blood test
Every year starting at 50, 40 for African-American men, and earlier for high-risk men.

Detects abnormally high levels of the Prostate Specific Antigen, produced by the prostate. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men (after skin cancer) and the second highest cause of cancer death in men (after lung cancer).

Chest X-ray
Every year in smokers over 30.

Low-dose CT scans are considered more accurate, but are also more costly, than chest X ray. Why not just stop smoking? Lung cancer is the No. 1 cancer killer for men. Smokers account for 50 percent of the patients at one clinic that handles potency problems.

Blood tests and urinalysis
Every two years from 40-49; every year after 50.

To check cholesterol levels, diabetes risk, homocysteine levels (to detect heart disease), kidney function and other basic functions.

Sigmoidoscopy
Every 3-4 years after 50; every year for high-risk men over 40.

Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death among men. A recent study found that the risk of colorectal cancer death was 80 percent lower among people who had undergone sigmoidoscopy even once.

Electrocardiogram (EKG)
Every 3-5 years after 50; earlier for high-risk men.

An EKG given during a stress test can detect a lack of oxygen to the heart.

See "Choosing the best omega-3 supplement"

TB skin test
Every five years.

This preventive measure is a good idea for men and women, and is especially important if you've been traveling in developing countries.

Tetanus booster
Every 10 years.

Even if you've already received this shot, it must be updated every decade.

Sources: How Men Can Live As Long As Women by Ken Goldberg (Summit, 1994); The Complete Book of Men's Health by Men's Health Books (Rodale Press, 2000); "19 Ways to Save Your Husband's Life" by Armin Brott (Family Circle, March 4, 1997); Men's Health Network.