Health Screenings: What You Should Get (and When)
Dr. Willie Talbert, Schneck Internal Medicine - August 20, 2021
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Taking care of your health is an ongoing process. One night of good sleep won’t fully replenish your energy, and seeing your doctor only as a last resort won’t immediately fix every health concern. Consistency is key when it comes to feeling your best, and regular health screenings will help you get there.
 
The recommended health screenings vary by age between males and females. Some occur annually and others are less frequent (but just as important). Each one is crucial to finding or preventing serious health concerns like cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and more. Knowing which screenings to get and when empowers you to take control of your health—and your doctor to provide the best quality of care.

Recommended Health Screenings by Age

The following is a general idea of recommended screenings for men and women based on their ages. Specific screenings may vary by individual health history and risk factors, so talk to your doctor about which tests are right for you.
 

Age 18-39 Years

Women Men Everyone
  • Breast exam: Discuss self-exams with your doctor
  • Pap smear/HPV testing: once at age 21 and every three years after
  • Chlamydia testing: annually for sexually active females under age 25 (or for those at risk)
  • Pelvic exam: annually
  • Testicular exam: self-conducted regularly
  • Hypertension (blood pressure) screening: annually or every two years
  • Cholesterol check: Once at age 20 and every five years after (unless risk factors dictate otherwise)
  • Skin check for concerning moles or lesions

Age 40-64 Years

Recommended screenings from age 18-39 years should continue on the same schedule, with the addition of the following.
 
Women Men Everyone
  • Mammogram: Discuss timeline for this screening with your doctor
  • Prostate cancer screenings: Discuss timeline for screening with your doctor
  • Colonoscopy: once at age 50 and every 10 years after
  • Diabetes screening: once at age 45 and every three years after

Age 65 Years and Older

Health professionals recommend that all women receive an osteoporosis screening starting at age 65, with follow-up testing based on those results. Men may also receive osteoporosis screening at age 65, based on their risk factors.  Other health screenings will continue on the schedule set up in previous years, or as suggested by your doctor.

Check In with Your Health

At first glance, this might seem like a lot of testing, but remember: you’re not getting them all at once. Your body changes as you age, which means your health needs will, too. Consistent check-ins with your health improve your overall quality of life, and the experts at Schneck can help you get there. Learn more about our specific screening events, or talk to your doctor and schedule your preventive screening today.

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