Health Minute: Health Screenings for the New Year
Health Screenings for the New Year
As the new year begins, stay up to date on the various health screenings you’ll need throughout the year. Family medicine physician, Avni Jain, MD, with Adventist Medical Group, shares the different screenings men and women need depending on their age.
Why is it important to stay on top of your health screenings?
Annual health screenings help you and your primary care provider better understand your health. This ensures you and your provider can watch any health conditions that may be developing, make the appropriate lifestyle changes and you can talk to them about any concerns you may have.
What types of screenings do I need?
Your provider may recommend different screenings based on your age and risk level for certain health conditions. Men, women and children of all ages should receive an annual physical each year to make sure you are healthy, and children are developing appropriately.
During your physical, your provider will check your blood pressure and body mass index (BMI). They may also recommend additional screenings like a blood test to check your cholesterol, vitamin D levels and A1C. They may also recommend certain vaccinations based on your age and risk. The most common are the flu shot, pneumonia and shingles and more recently, ensuring everyone stays up to date on their COVID booster shots.
In addition to a blood test, your provider may recommend screening for other health conditions like cancer. Some of these screenings can be completed in the office, while others need a referral to see another physician. Your provider will recommend these screenings based on your age and individual risk but talk to your doctor to understand when you should start screening. Cancer screenings may include:
· Mammograms to check for breast cancer starting at age 40 for women of average risk.
· Colonoscopy’s for men and women to check for colon cancer starting at age 45.
· Low-dose CT scan for men and women between the ages of 50 and 80 who are heavy smokers or those who have quit but smoked within the last 15 years.
· Pap smear for women 21 and over to check for cervical cancer.
What steps can I take to lead a healthy life outside of routine screenings?
Living a healthy lifestyle is the best way to reduce your risk of developing various health conditions. Follow these recommendations as a guide:
· Eat a healthy diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables.
· Limit sugary drinks.
· Maintain a healthy weight.
· Exercise routinely for at least 30 minutes a day.
· Get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep each night.
· Make an appointment for your annual physical with your primary care provider.
Looking for a primary care provider? Visit AdventistMedicalGroup.org to find a provider near you