Some people are conscientious about making appointments for regular checkups. For others, it’s easier to procrastinate until, suddenly, years have passed since a trip to the doctor. Since nobody wants to hear bad news, especially about their health, going regularly is important. Otherwise, the consequences of not seeing your doctor might be severe.
As part of your regular checkup process, your doctor will recommend health screenings.
What’s a Health Screening?
A screening is a test that looks for diseases, like heart disease, cancer and stroke, before you have symptoms. They can find diseases early, when they’re easier to treat. Some illnesses that doctors screen for are:
- Breast cancer and cervical cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Prostate cancer
The tests you need depend on your gender, age, family history and whether you’re at risk (have risk factors) for certain diseases. Find out more about what screenings to get and when, for better health at every age.
General Screening Guidelines
The recipe for good health is the same at every age: Eat right, stay active and get regular checkups. Screenings area also part of the way to a healthier life. Stay informed at every age about the screenings you need to keep living your life. Here are some general screening guidelines:
Age 30 and younger: If you’re healthy, see your doctor every two to three years for a checkup. While you’re there, ask about disease prevention and how to stay healthy. People in this age range may benefit from getting certain vaccines, especially if they’re travelling internationally for work or pleasure. Women should discuss the benefits of regular cervical cancer screening.
Ages 30-40: In this decade, you should see your doctor every year. Common diseases, like diabetes, high blood pressure obesity, may not cause symptoms, but can often be detected by your doctor, and treated. When women turn 40, they should begin talking with their doctor about getting regular breast cancer screenings, or mammograms.
Ages 50 and older: At this age, yearly physicals become much more important. Both women and men should have a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer. Women aged 50 and over should talk with their doctor about the benefits of yearly mammograms. If you’re 65 and older you’re at higher risk for illness, and you’re more likely to be hospitalized for flu and pneumonia. Talk with your doctor about getting pneumococcal vaccines and regular influenza vaccines.
If you’re overweight, or you have a family history of certain diseases, ask whether you should get a checkup more frequently.
In-Depth Screening Guidelines by Age and Gender
Here are the screening guidelines recommended by the American Medical Association and other medical groups for men, women and children.
Need a Doctor? We Can Help
If you don’t have a doctor, please contact Healthcare Coordination. Our friendly specialists can help you find the right doctor for your needs. They can also help you:
- Make an appointment with one or more doctors over the phone or via Live Chat
- Share a list of accepted insurance
- Provide directions and parking information
- Share doctors’ office locations and hours
- Let you know which doctors are accepting new patients