What Is a Male Physical Exam?


In addition to following a healthy diet and lifestyle, an annual exam is recommended for everyone. Though the basics of the exam are similar for men and women, there are particulars for the annual male physical examination.


The physician will examine ears, nose, throat and the major appendages such as arms, legs and feet. She will also check for unusual skin discolorations, a potential indicator of skin cancer.


The penis is observed for any abrasions or lesions, possible indicators of some sexually transmitted diseases. The doctor will also examine the scrotum and testicles to determine if you have a hernia or any growths on the testes.


As a man gets older, his doctor will perform a digital rectal exam to determine if the prostate is enlarged, which may prevent comfortable urination or may indicate prostate cancer. This rectal exam in older men will also screen for hemorrhoids and lower rectal problems.

Blood Tests

Usually after 40, the doctor will request a hemoccult blood test to screen for polyps or colon cancer and a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) blood test to detect prostate cancer. For any age, a blood test will also indicate cholesterol levels, diabetes risk and the risk of developing heart disease.

Miscellaneous Tests

An EKG is normally given every five years. However, if you are in a high-risk group of developing heart disease, this may be performed more frequently. A TB skin test is also given every five years.

Body Mass and Spine

Body fat will be observed to indicate obesity, and the spine will be checked to screen for scoliosis.

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  • Men's Health; Ace Your Doctor's Exam; Jan 2008
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