As you age, your health needs change, as do your preventative care requirements. By staying on top of your game and getting the necessary checkups, you can prevent certain conditions from getting worse, or even developing in the first place.
Your age, current health status, family history and lifestyles choices are all important factors used to determine what types of checkups you should have and how often. It’s recommended to consult with your healthcare provider and regular physician to determine what health services and screenings are best for you.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has provided a sample list of important exams, screenings and vaccinations that everyone should take into consideration:
Beginning at age 40, the CDC recommends getting one done every one to two years to detect signs of breast cancer. Even though your chance of developing breast cancer before age 40 is statistically rare, your regular physician will encourage self-examinations.
Be on the lookout for any abnormalities – such as a lump, pain or tenderness, change in size or shape of the breast, etc.
The CDC recommends that males get an annual prostate exam beginning at the age of 40. Self-examinations are also encouraged.
Pap Test and Pelvic Exam
Women should have yearly Pap smears starting at age 18 or when they become sexually active – whichever comes first.
Every time you visit your regular physician, they should check your blood pressure. Generally speaking, people are at a greater risk of high blood pressure beginning at age 40. A balanced diet and regular exercise can help lower your blood pressure.
High cholesterol usually has no visual signs or symptoms, which means only doctors can reveal it. Individuals starting at the age of 40 should have their cholesterol levels checked every one to five years.
The CDC recommends that everyone is up to date on the following vaccinations: measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). If you are traveling outside of the U.S., you may need to get a meningitis and hepatitis A and B shot before departure.
Consult with your regular physician to make sure that you are up-to-date on all vaccinations and immunizations.
Anyone at any age can develop skin cancer. The CDC recommends check-ups with your regular physician in combination with self-examinations. If anything seems out of the ordinary, consult your physician. At the age of 40, they should be part of a routine cancer-related health checkup.
Depending on family history and risk factors, diabetes screenings will vary from person-to-person. However, beginning at the age of 45 and older, everyone should get tested for type 2 diabetes every three years.
The CDC recommends getting tested every five years, beginning at age 35.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends getting your vision checked every two to four years. However, if you already have glasses or contacts, it is recommenced to get annual exams, as prescriptions tend to fluctuate.
Most dentists recommend a check-up and cleaning at least one or twice a year.