Body, Health Prevention

Have You Had the 8 Most Important Health Screenings?

July 26, 2012

stethoscopeYou exercise, eat right, gave up smoking back in college and keep your drinking to a few glasses of red wine each week—the picture of health, right? Unfortunately, routine health screenings are just as important as a healthy lifestyle. If you aren’t getting the top 8 below you run the risk of not spotting potential problems early—while still easily treatable. Do us a favor, take today and make it a goal to book appointments with your health care providers for each of these tests.

1. Blood Pressure

At age 18 you should get this checked at least every two years.

2. Cholesterol

Every five years you should get this checked starting at age 20.

3. Pap Smear and Pelvic Exam

Guidelines for this screening recently changed and the frequency that’s right for you will depend on your risk factors, but talk to your Doc to get a schedule in place.

4. Breast Exam

According to a clinical breast exam should be done every three years starting at age 20. At age 40 you’ll need to start getting mammograms every one-to-two years. *The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends mammograms beginning at age 50, but the American Cancer Society still recommends earlier screening.

5. Blood Glucose Test

At age 45 you’ll need to start getting a blood glucose test every three years to test for diabetes or pre-diabetes and earlier if you have symptoms of diabetes or several risk factors.

6. Skin Exam

Each month you should be checking your skin for changes or the appearance of new moles to spot the early signs of skin cancer and once per year a doctor or dermatologist should conduct the examination during a routine check-up.

7. Dental Exam

Even if your teeth are in good shape you’ll need to get a cleaning every six months and a check-up, depending on your needs your dentist may even recommend every three months.

8. Eye Exam

Eye exams can tell a Doc more about you than just if you need glasses or not, an eye exam is a good supplement to an annual physical and can discover illnesses like diabetes and high cholesterol. In your 20s and 30s you should be going every two-to-three years and once you are in your 40s every one-to-two years.


Photo via Flickr: by Alex E. Proimos

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