As we get older we take on more responsibility. Work, family, and other commitments consume our time and the days come and go with a blink of the eye.
With that said, it’s important to take care of yourself and take responsibility for your own health because no one else will do it for you. Getting screened for potential diseases or health disorders is one of the many ways to do so.
The following is a list of some common diseases along with when you should get screened in order to reduce the risk of disease, or detect it early enough to treat it most effectively.
|What It Looks For||When to get tested||
|Cholesterol||-High lipid levels in the blood = increased risk of heart disease||-Age 20-79||-Every 4-6 years
-Depends on risk factors and/or current cholesterol
|Pap Test (Pap Smears)||-Cellular changes in the cervix indicative of cervical cancer||-Sexually active woman under the age of 65||-Every 3 years|
|Mammography||-Breast cancer||– Women ages 50+||-Every 1-2 years|
|Colonoscopy||-Colon cancer||-Age 50+
-Earlier if there is a family history
|-Every 5-10 years|
|Prostate-specific antigen||-Prostate cancer||-Men ages 50+||-Talk to your doctor about this test|
|STI’s||-HIV, syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea||-Sexually active men & woman of any age||-Every year|
Your family history and the exposure to other risk factors may determine when/how often you should get screened for certain diseases. Some diseases do not have routine screening tests and may require multiple tests in order to detect any indication of disease. Please talk to your doctor to get more information, especially if you see or feel unusual changes in your body externally or internally.
Moreover, you always have to right to a second opinion. As in any profession, people make mistakes and some are better at their jobs than others; doctors included.
You can’t take care of others unless you take care of yourself.