You’ve heard the saying: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Although you may be spending more time at home, it’s still important to get a yearly physical and other screenings as recommended by your doctor.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention*, if everyone in the U.S. received recommended clinical preventive care, more than 100,000 lives could be saved each year.
Your primary care physician can perform an annual physical exam to assess your overall health. Some tests that may be part of your yearly physical include:
- Blood pressure screening
- Cholesterol screening
- Blood glucose screening
- Osteoporosis screening
- Body mass index (BMI)
These screenings can detect illness at an early stage, when treatment is likely to work best.
A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast that looks for early signs of breast cancer. Mammograms are the best tests for finding breast cancer early, sometimes up to three years before it can be felt.
A radiologist will read your mammogram for early signs of breast cancer or other problems. Mammograms work best when they can be compared to previous ones. This allows the doctor to look for changes in your breasts.
The decision on whether to have a mammogram before age 50 is an individual one. Women with average risk ages 50 and older should have a mammogram annually. Talk with your doctor about your risk and how often you should be screened.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force* recommends that adults ages 50 to 75 be screened for colorectal cancer. A colonoscopy is a test that uses a thin, flexible, lighted tube to check for polyps or cancer inside the rectum and the entire colon.
During a colonoscopy, the doctor can remove most polyps and other cancers. A colonoscopy is recommended every 10 years for people who do not have an increased risk of colon cancer.
Ask your doctor which tests are right for you.
*The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force are independent organizations that provide health information you may find helpful.
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