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Preventive Guidelines - Men

Blue Cross of Idaho is pleased to provide the following guidelines as an important starting point for you and your family. The following recommendations were derived from a number of professional sources. They are guidelines only and should not be used as a substitute for your doctor’s medical judgment.

Age: 19 and over

Immunizations

  • Diphtheria and Tetanus - As an adult, you should get a booster once every 10 years to prevent diphtheria and tetanus.
  • Varicella (chickenpox) - People who do not get the vaccine until 13 years of age or older should get 2 doses, 4-8 weeks apart. You may want to verify immunity status by serologic testing. People should not get the chickenpox vaccine if they have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to gelatin, the antibiotic neomycin, or (for those needing a second dose) a previous dose of the chickenpox vaccine. Ask your doctor or nurse for more information.
  • Hepatitis B (Hep B) - if not previously immunized, you can begin the immunization process at any time. People should get 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine with the second dose given at least 1 month after the first and the third dose given at least 2 months after the second and at least 4 months after the first. If you miss a dose or get behind schedule, get the next dose as soon as you can. There is no need to start over. All three doses are needed for full and lasting immunity.
  • MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) - Some adults should also get the MMR vaccine. Generally, anyone 18 years of age or older, who was born after 1956, should get at least one dose of the MMR vaccine, unless they can show that they have had either the vaccines or the diseases. Ask your doctor or nurse for more information.
  • Influenza - People at risk for getting a serious case of influenza or influenza complications, and people in close contact with them (including all household members) should get the vaccine. An annual flu shot is recommended for anyone who wants to reduce their chance of catching influenza.
  • Pneumococcal Polysaccharide (PPV) - All adults 65 years of age or older should get one dose. Usually one dose of PPV is all that is needed. A second dose is recommended for those people age 65 and older who got their first dose when they were under 65, if 5 or more years have passed since that dose.

For more information, you can contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at: 1-800-232-2522 (English) or 1-800-232-0233 (Espanol), or visit the National Immunization Program Web site.

Screening

Ages 19 - 34

It is important for you to have a preventive health visit at least once every three years. During this visit, your doctor should check your blood pressure and weight.

Ages 35 - 49

It is important for you to have a preventive health visit at least once every three years. During this visit, your doctor should check your blood pressure and weight. You should also have your total serum cholesterol and a HDL-C screen done every 5 years.

Ages 50 plus

It is important for you to have a preventive health visit at least once every three years. During this visit, your doctor should check your blood pressure and weight. You should also have your total serum cholesterol and a HDL-C screen done every 5 years. The American Cancer Society has established guidelines for colorectal cancer screening in average-risk adults ages 50 and older. Tests vary in cost, risk and accuracy. You should have a fecal occult home blood test (FOBT) every year. A flexible sigmoidoscopy should be performed every five years. A colonoscopy should be performed every 10 years. Any positive results in either the FOBT or flexible sigmoidoscopy should be followed up with a colonoscopy. Earlier screening may be done at the discretion of your doctor if there is a family history of colon cancer.

For more information about colorectal cancer detection and symptoms, contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345, or visit the American Cancer Society Web site.