A Tune-Up for Your Health
Focusing on the pandemic has made it easy to neglect other areas of our health. But no matter what else is happening in the world, it’s important to continue regular health screenings.
Take Charge of Your Health
Even if you’re not having any health problems, you should still see your doctor for regular checkups. Many of the top risk factors for serious health problems are within your control. That’s why it’s important to stay on track through routine health screenings.
Get Your Annual Checkup
At your annual physical, you can talk to your doctor about your wellness goals and any concerns you may have.
Your physician can make sure you’re caught up on your vaccinations. Blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose checks can warn of health problems.
You may need to think about other types of health screenings as well. An early diagnosis of a serious condition can lead to improved treatment outcomes.
Colon Cancer Screenings
Experts say adults ages 50 to 75 should get colon cancer screenings. Screening methods include stool tests and colonoscopies. During a colonoscopy, a thin, flexible, lighted tube is used to examine the patient’s rectum and colon for cancer or polyps. Your doctor can choose the right test for you based on your risk factors and overall health.
Breast Cancer Screenings
Mammograms are the most effective way to detect breast cancer. A mammogram is an X-ray image taken of the breast as it’s pressed between two plates. The United States Preventive Services Task Force* says women ages 50 to 74 should get a mammogram every other year.
The USPSTF says regular mammograms aren’t as beneficial for most women ages 40 to 49. Work with your doctor to figure out what’s right for you. Your risk factors, including family history of breast cancer, will affect your doctor’s recommendation.
Cervical and Lung Cancer
Screenings have not been found to be helpful in detecting all types of cancer. However, experts do recommend screening for cervical and lung cancer.
Women should get regular Pap tests starting at age 21. These exams can detect abnormal cells in the cervix that could turn into cancer.
If you are or have been a heavy smoker and are between ages 55 and 80, experts recommend a yearly lung cancer screening.
Talk to your doctor about which health screenings are right for you.
Invest in Your Long-Term Health
You take your car in for regular maintenance to ensure it continues to run smoothly. You might consider a tune-up before a long road trip. Preventive maintenance can find small problems before they become major issues. The same is true for your physical health. Contact your doctor today to set up an appointment.
*The United States Preventive Services Task Force is an independent organization that offers health information you may find helpful.
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