With many discoveries and advancements in the medical field each and every year, expert professionals are now recommending the need for more than one annual check-up for most people in every age group. In turn, one or more checkups per year remains important for the prevention or early detection of health concerns that arises due to our weight, lifestyle changes, or change in our overall health outlook. Here are five tests that you should have this year and in the future:
– Blood-pressure checks are very important. Why? That is because most people who have high blood pressure don’t know it. Most physicians today now believe you can wait two years for another checkup – given your blood pressure is normal for your age upon your yearly checkup.
– Much like high-blood pressure, having a high cholesterol count doesn’t come with any warning symptoms. Thus, the American Heart Association suggests we all have our physicians determine our total and HDL blood-cholesterol levels. In essence, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends getting a baseline measure at least once for men, ages 35 to 65, and women, ages 45 to 65, with follow-up testing as needed. If your cholesterol levels are normal, it is good to be retested once every five years.
– Everyone with or without eye problems, should have regular eye exams every two years after the age of 40; once you are 45, make sure that you have a check for glaucoma, too.
– The American Cancer Society recommends an annual mammogram starting at age 40. Women at higher risk (defined as a greater than 20 percent lifetime risk) should get an MRI with their mammogram every year. Women with moderately high risk (a 15-to-20 percent lifetime risk) should talk with their doctors about the pros and cons of adding MRI screening to their yearly mammogram.
Note: Physicians do recommend that women do a breast self-exam monthly starting in their twenties.
Colon and Rectal Cancer
– According to the American Cancer Society, both men and women at average risk for developing colorectal cancer should use one of the screening tests below starting at age 50…
- Tests that find polyps and cancer include: a flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years; a colonoscopy every ten years.
- Tests that mainly find cancer include: an annual fecal occult blood test (FOBT); an annual fecal immunochemical test (FIT).
Last but not least, always consult with your doctor thoroughly with each visit in order to determine the best course of action with your health and well-being.
Credit source: Georgia Witkin, Ph.D. (assistant Professor of psychiatry and director of stress at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City).