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How Annual Exams Can Be Powerful Wellness Tools

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How Annual Exams Can Be Powerful Wellness Tools

The recommendations about healthcare can be overwhelming at times, and lately the news has questioned if certain physical exams and tests are necessary. How do you know which exams and tests you should have and when? Cooper Clinic Preventive Medicine Physician and 24/7 Platinum Physician, Emily Hebert, MD explains Cooper Clinic’s recommendations for preventive health screenings and exams

Note: These recommendations are for generally healthy adults. If you have questions about your personal health, contact your physician.

Women Under 40
For younger women in their 20s and 30s, getting yearly physicals, including cholesterol and blood pressure checks, and weight monitoring are most important.

The recommendations for pap smears have changed and can be confusing. The general guidelines are for women under 30 who have never had an abnormal pap to have one every five years. After age 30, women should have a pap smear every three years and undergo routine HPV screening.

Women Over 40
The general recommendation is for women to start receiving annual mammograms at age 40, although Cooper Clinic recommends women undergo a screening mammogram at 35. Women with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, should get an earlier mammogram.

Cooper Clinic also recommends women begin bone density testing age 40, which is also earlier than the general medical recommendations. It is likely that osteoporosis will have already set in by the time a woman reaches age 50 or 60. If bone density issues are caught in earlier stages, there may be more preventive measures that can be taken.

Men Under 40
Like women, young men in their 20s and 30s should receive a annual physical, including weight monitoring, cholesterol and blood pressure checks.

Men Over 40
The general recommendation is that men should begin regular prostate exams at age 50. However, Cooper Clinic believes enough young men have been diagnosed with prostate cancer to warrant the screenings starting at age 40. Cooper Clinic also recommends Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) testing beginning at age 40.

Men Over 60
Because men are less likely to suffer bone density problems including osteoporosis, Cooper Clinic recommends bone density screenings for men beginning at age 60.

Men and Women
Although Cooper Clinic recommends a colonoscopy for men and women over 45, it can be difficult to get insurance to pay for it. At least by age 50, both men and women should have a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer. These tests are recommended every five years, unless a patient has abnormal polyps, in which case he or she should have a colonoscopy every three years or more frequently. If you have a family history of colon cancer, it is recommended that you have your first colonoscopy 10 years before your family member was when he/she was diagnosed. For example, if your father was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 50, you should be screened at age 40.

Cooper Clinic recommends the MDCT scan, or “HealthView” screening for both men and women every five years beginning between ages 40 and 50. This is not a mainstream screening, but Cooper Clinic recommends it as it can be beneficial in the early detection of heart disease, cancer, and other serious health concerns. The scan looks at arteries for calcium or plaque buildup, and examines the health of primary organs.

Other health exams and screenings recommended for both men and women include annual skin cancer checks every year starting in your 20’s; annual dental exams and cleanings; and eye exams every three years, unless you have diabetes or high blood pressure, in which case you may need them more frequently.

Your physician may recommend additional tests or screenings depending on your own personal and family health history. If you have questions regarding these or other tests, contact your physician.

To learn about the comprehensive preventive exam at Cooper Clinic, click here or call 866.906.2667 (COOP).

Article provided by Cooper Aerobics Marketing and Communications.