Cancer Screening Guidelines for Men


These cancer screening guidelines for men are recommended for people at average risk for cancer with no specific symptoms. People who have an increased risk for particular cancers may need to follow a different screening schedule, such as starting at an earlier age or being screened more often.

Symptoms that could be cancer related or any changes should be discussed with a physician without delay.

20–49 Years Old

  • Routine physical and examinations (skin, oral, etc.) are recommended.  Men at increased/high risk for cancer or with a family history of cancer should discuss screening with their doctor.
  • Men with a family history of prostate cancer or African American should obtain a baseline PSA at 40-45 years of age.

50 Years and Older

All of the above, plus, begin one of the following test schedules for colon cancer screening:

  • Yearly fecal occult blood test (FOBT*) and colonoscopy every 10 years (or as recommended based on results of first colonoscopy) ** OR
  • Yearly fecal occult blood test (FOBT*) plus flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years **

*For FOBT, the take-home multiple sample method should be used.
**A digital rectal examination should be done at the same time as sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy.

55-74 Years Old

All of the above, plus:

Men should discuss the pros and cons of the PSA testing with their healthcare provider.  For men who are screened with a PSA, 2 year intervals are recommended with longer intervals for men over 60 with normal PSA levels. There is no consensus on screening over the age of 70.  Men should consult with their health care provider.

Lung cancer screening is recommended for men at high risk for lung cancer as defined below:

  • Current heavy smoker with a smoking history of 30 pack-years (one pack/day for 30 years, two packs/day for15 years, etc.)
  • Former heavy smokers who have quit within the last 15 years
  • No previous diagnosis of pulmonary nodules/lung cancer
  • No symptoms for lung cancer (shortness of breath, unusual or persistent chest/back pain, coughing up blood)
  • Have not undergone a CT scan of the chest in the last 18 months.

To make an appointment or learn more about cancer screening guidelines for men, call Healthcare Coordination.