Fitness Facts: Did you get your checkup last year?
By Connie Colbert
Director, Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic
With all the changes and worries surrounding COVID, many Americans failed to get their routine health exams last year.
Why are these important?
Regular health exams and tests can help find problems before they start. They also can help find problems early, when your chances for treatment and cure are better.
Which exams and screenings you need depends on your age, health and family history, and lifestyle choices, such as what you eat, how active you are and whether you smoke.
Screenings are tests that look for diseases before you have symptoms. Screening tests can find diseases early, when they’re easier to treat. You can get some screenings in your doctor’s office. Others need special equipment, so you may need to go to a different office or clinic.
Some common screenings include:
- Breast cancer and cervical cancer in women: mammogram and pap smear
- Colon cancer: colonoscopy
- Diabetes: routine blood work
- High cholesterol: routine blood work, lipid panel
- Osteoporosis: Dexa scan
- Overweight and obesity: body max index (BMI)
- Prostate cancer in men: PSA and prostate exam
- Skin cancer screening: at a dermatologist
- Vision screening: not only screens for changes in vision but also looks for eye disease, such as glaucoma and cataracts
- Regular dental screenings: 6-month cleaning and X-ray
If you fell behind on these exams and screenings, do not delay another year! Make an appointment today.
To make the most of your appointments, here are some things to think about before you go:
- Review your family medical history.
- Find out if you are due for any general screenings or vaccinations.
- Write down a list of issues and questions to take with you.