Nothing against apples but eating a dozen a day won’t keep the doctor away. To stay away from the doctor is not a good idea; going for annual check-ups are a baseline starting point for good health. There are more detailed tests and examinations, many based on sex and age. Are you not sure what’s needed? WellWell has put together a checklist of must-do medical tests. Read on.
Women 65 and older should get a bone density exam, and at-risk younger women. Men should consider these tests, especially once they hit 70; They are at high risk for thinning bones.
The American Cancer Society strongly recommends mammograms for women once they hit 40, although the frequency of tests varies with age. Between the ages of 40 and 44, women should strongly consider annual exams, and those 45 to 54 should get a mammogram every year, while women 55 and older can test every other year.
Assuming a person is at an average risk factor, colonoscopies should begin at 45. Past recommendations set the age target at 50, but colorectal cancer is increasing, so it’s five years lower.
The CDC recommends once someone turns 50, they should get Shingrix, a shingles vaccine, even if an individual has previously had the vaccine Zostavax. The vaccine is a recommended must for older adults even if they can’t remember whether they have had chickenpox as a child.
Cholesterol-related issues are rising, and consequently, there is a growing need for adults, even healthy ones, to get screenings more frequently than in the past. Adults should get a screening every four to six years at a minimum. Children and adolescents need to test at least once between ages 9 and 11 and between 17 and 21.
Men should consider starting prostate exams for cancer at 50 and working with their physicians to determine a timetable for ongoing tests as they age.
Moving from a pediatrician to a doctor isn’t as much a test as a timing issue. Pediatricians can work with teens but stop seeing patients in their late teens. Making the switch to a doctor is vital, but individuals need to be comfortable with the transition whenever it occurs.
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