January 19, 2011
You've probably heard the old saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." And when it comes to your health, that's more important than ever. Taking just a few steps in preventive care now can help avoid big problems in the future. It's well worth your time.
The next step is finding out what health screenings, tests, or checkups you need and making sure you get them.
Screenings are important because they can spot problems or diseases early, when they may be easier to treat. Talk with your doctor about what is best for you, since earlier or added screenings may be needed based on your health, age, race, gender, family history, and lifestyle.
Most screenings or tests can be done at your doctor's office. But for some, you may need to go elsewhere for special equipment. For a few, you may need to do something like fasting to get ready for the test. Talk with your doctor before the test about what to expect and how to prepare. After the test, talk about the results and any follow-up your doctor may advise.
Below is a guide that shows how often and at what ages most healthy adults should have screenings, tests, and checkups. You can use this guide to help talk with your doctor what is best for you. People with a family history of certain diseases and those with other risk factors may need more screenings or tests or have them done more often. Also check your Certificate of Coverage for questions about what your plan will cover.
Prostate exam for men – Talk with your doctor about your risks and what test and schedule are best for you.
Exams include a digital rectal exam and prostate specific antigen (PSA) test.
Immunizations, also called vaccinations, help make your immune system stronger and protect your body from certain diseases. They are often given in the form of shots. The protection you get from some shots lasts a lifetime. But the protection you get from others may fade over time, which means you will need a booster.
Some immunizations may be needed because of age, gender, medical conditions, your job, travel, and other factors. Your doctor can tell you if you are up to date or need any new shots or boosters. You can find out more about immunizations by referencing the Immunization Action Coalition PDF. http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4030.pdf
Keep track of what screenings, tests, checkups and vaccinations you have and the dates that you had them. Share the list with all your healthcare providers. Know your numbers and don't be afraid to ask questions.
Take an active role in your health.
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