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Medical Checkups You Can’t Afford to Miss

CareNow® - August 30, 2013
by CareNow

The best way to remain in good health is with preventative medical checkups. From age 20 to age 50 and beyond, schedule the right appointments to stay ahead of diseases that could damper your quality of life. Start with general healthcare in your 20s and add supplementary medical checkups in the decades that follow.

Remember, the following medical checkups are general recommendations, and some apply only to one gender or another. If you have a medical condition or family history of certain diseases, speak with your doctor about the schedule he or she recommends specifically for you.

Medical Checkups in your 20s

  • Primary care: Annual or biannual visits to your doctor help prevent gastritis, inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer and diabetes.
  • Reproductive health: Once per year, women should meet with a gynecologist to receive a pelvic exam, Pap smear and clinical breast exam.
  • Oral health: Visit the dentist every six months to a year for teeth cleaning and an oral exam.
  • Skin health: Schedule an annual medical checkup with a dermatologist if you have fair skin or a family history of skin cancer. Otherwise, make an appointment if you find suspicious moles or experience skin problems.
  • Disease prevention: You need a tetanus booster shot every ten years. You should also seek out vaccines for chickenpox if you haven’t contracted it before along with measles, mumps and rubella if you weren’t vaccinated in your youth. Yearly flu vaccines are recommended as well.

Medical Checkups in your 30s

  • Heart health: If your last cholesterol screening was normal, you don’t need another one for five years. Some experts say it’s okay to wait until your 40s to be screened, but if you’re a man and/or have a higher risk for heart disease due to your lifestyle choices, you should start in your 30s.

Medical Checkups in your 40s

  • Breast health: Starting between age 40 and 50, women should start receiving annual mammograms to catch breast cancer early.
  • Prostate health: Men should receive annual PSA blood tests to screen for prostate cancer.
  • Heart health: Seek a stress echocardiogram to give you a baseline analysis of how your heart is doing.
  • Eye health: Start visiting the ophthalmologist every two to four years starting in your 40s. When you hit age 65, bump up the frequency to annual visits.

Medical Checkups in your 50s

  • Colon health: Get a colonoscopy every five years starting around age 50. Men should receive their first colonoscopy while still in their 40s.
  • Bone health: Women should seek routine bone density scans starting at menopause. Some experts say it’s safe to wait until age 65 unless certain risk factors apply (small frame, low weight, mother with osteoporosis).

To schedule a medical checkup to promote optimal health, please visit one of CareNow’s 23 Dallas-Fort Worth locations.