Annual screenings for cancer, high blood pressure, cholesterol, glaucoma and skin cancer are a good idea especially before and after you undertake a whole house remodeling project or other stressful activity. Don't neglect these simple test and put things off for a house or that job promotion. What's the point if you get sick and can't enjoy the fruits of your labor. Also remember, early detection means improving your chances of correcting a problem before it is too late.
The older we get, the more emphasis we tend to put on our health. We begin taking supplements, start eating healthier and pay attention to the amount of exercise that we're getting. While doing these things can go a long way to ensuring our physical and mental well-being, there is more that we could be doing. Here are five preventive screenings that the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends for adults:
1. Cancer Screenings
No matter your gender, you should receive regular screenings for cancer. For women, cervical and breast cancer screenings are incredibly important. Women who are sexually active should receive cervical cancer screenings at least every three years. If you are a high-risk candidate or have had an irregular screening, your doctor may recommend a yearly exam. Women who are 40 or older should receive a mammogram at least every two years.
For both men and women, colorectal cancer screenings are an important part of aging in a healthy way. You should have your first screening when you reach age 50 and every ten years thereafter. Your doctor may suggest an alternative interval for these screenings depending on your medical history and risk factors.
2. High Blood Pressure
With blood pressure kiosks located in many big box and drug stores, keeping track of your own blood pressure is incredibly simple. If, however, you aren't comfortable checking your blood pressure in public, visit your doctor at least once every two years to have your blood pressure taken. If your blood pressure is low, or under 130/85, every two years is safe. If your blood pressure is higher, your doctor will want to shorten the length of time between screenings.
3. Cholesterol Screenings
If you have a family history of heart disease, suffer with diabetes or have high blood pressure, you should be screened for high cholesterol yearly once you turn 35 if you are a man, and once you turn 45 if you are a woman. If you are a young adult with no known risk factors for heart disease, your doctor may not find it necessary to test your cholesterol levels. It is not uncommon, however, for health adults to be screened every five years after the age of 45.
4. Eye Exams
Healthy adults should receive an eye exam every one to two years, or more often if recommended by your eye care provider. Once you turn 39, you should visit your eye doctor once every year. By having your eyes examined yearly, you may be alerted to changes in the structure of your eyeballs before your damage is permanently affected. For instance, your eye care provider will examine your retinas, look for evidence of cataracts and perform a glaucoma assessment. Neglecting the health of your eyes can have serious consequences on your vision as you age.
5. Skin Cancer
Melanoma kills just over 9,000 people annually, according to the American Cancer Society's most recent findings. The chance of having skin cancer increases with age; it is recommended that you undergo yearly screenings after the age of 40. Before your 40th birthday, you should be screened every three years.
Preventive screenings are recommended at varying intervals for every adult. These screenings can discover health-related issues early enough that life-saving treatment can begin. Don't assume that you are completely healthy just because you feel fine; you could be suffering with health issues that you aren't aware of. By taking part in suggested preventive screenings, you may be saving your own life.
Kara Martin writes for nursing blogs. If you're thinking of a career in nursing, check out Kara's blogs on becoming an acute care nurse practitioner.