Keeping up with your annual exams are the best means of disease prevention. Consider making the following appointments this year.
- Wellness Check Up – Make a point to visit your Primary Care Physician (PCP) for a wellness check up this year. Your PCP will perform a physical exam, assess your medical history, and look for any red flags. Be sure to request a comprehensive blood panel, which can provide an overall picture of your health.
- Eye Exam – Eye exams can be scheduled every 2 years until the age of 60 when they should be performed annually. However, even if you are under 60 and got an eye exam last year, consider visiting an optometrist if you feel your vision has changed over the year.
- Skin Cancer Screening- Dermatologists perform skin cancer screenings by looking for suspicious lesions, moles, or spots. Even if you haven’t noticed any changes to your skin, annual screenings are a good idea.
- Basic Cleaning and Oral Check Up- You should actually visit the dentist every 6 months for a teeth cleaning. Your dentist will check for cavities, gum disease, and signs of oral cancer. They may also perform an x-ray on your mouth.
- *Ladies* Women’s Wellness Exam- Women 21 and older should be seeing a gynecologist every year, whether or not they are sexually active. Doctors will perform a pelvic exam to look at your reproductive organs for signs of infection, growth, and abnormalities. They will also perform a breast exam to check for unusual skin texture, discolorations or lumps. A Pap Smear may be performed to check for abnormalities in the cervix.
- *Ladies* Mammogram – Yearly mammograms are necessary for those with a family history of breast cancer. If you do not have a history of breast cancer in your family, you will not need annual mammograms until you reach age 40.
These appointments cover the basics, but depending on your family history, you may also need annual appointments with a specialist. Your Primary Care Physician will refer you to a specialist based on the results of your annual checkup.
Article adapted from: https://verilymag.com/2015/04/health-doctor-appointments-you-need-to-make