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Don't Miss These Important Routine Screenings

It can be quite overwhelming to understand when to get tested for what. As we age, the list of routine tests can seem never-ending, but keeping on top of these tests can lead to early detection and ultimately better overall health. To fully understand when to start getting tested for what, here’s a list of the top routine screens and when to begin receiving them:

18-39 Years of Age

Yearly, you should have a full-body skin check. This will allow for early detection of any suspicious moles or skin lesions. It’s also suggested that your cholesterol be checked at some point in your twenties. If your levels are healthy, you will not need to be tested for another five years, or until you turn 35. From there, annual testing is recommended. For those with specific risk factors or high levels, annual testing from the start is best.

Women: Once you reach the age of 18, you should begin seeing a primary care doctor for regular well-visits. This will often include a breast exam to identify any lumps, and a pelvic exam. You will also undergo a pap smear every three years once you hit the age of 21. The frequency of your pap smear will be determined based on the results.

Men: Beyond your annual well visit with your primary doctor, you should partake in self-exams of your testicles. If anything seems abnormal or different, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with your doctor.

40-64 Years of Age

As you approach this age group, the above testing is accompanied by a few new ones. You will now annually undergo a fasting test to identify signs of diabetes. If colon cancer does not run in the family, colonoscopies will begin at the age of 50 and, with average results, occur every ten years. If a family history is present, screenings should start ten years earlier than the youngest family member with colon cancer.

Women: Annual mammograms should begin, that is if you have typical risk factors. If you have a family history of cancer or other risk factors, you may start receiving mammograms at an earlier age.

Men: For high-risk patients, screening may start at 40. Otherwise, prostate screenings will begin at 50 years of age.

65 + Years of Age

Your risk of osteoporosis and many other illnesses increases as you age. Because of this, there are a few extra tests and routine vaccines you’ll want to incorporate into your yearly schedule. For instance, a bone density study every 2-5 years should begin at age 65. You may also receive the shingles or pneumonia vaccine. Your height and weight will also be tracked, as diminishing height is the first sign of osteoporosis.

Methodist Premier Wellness is centered around your total health: mind, body, and spirit. Whether you are home or away, we are accessible and ready to assist you! Schedule your comprehensive health exam or contact Dr. Hollenshead about preventive and diagnostic dermatology today.