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There’s still time to add a New Year’s resolution to your list, especially one as important as prioritizing your health. Stay on top of your whole health with an annual physical that includes talking with your doctor about which screenings you should consider this year.
Health Screening Guidelines for Men and Women
Some health screenings are universal, while others depend on your biology. That’s why we’re breaking down recommended screenings by gender.
|Both Men and Women
At Age 20+
|Pap test. Women aged 21 to 65 should have a Pap smear once every three years. A sample of cells from your cervix is sent to a lab for assessment.
Skin exam. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends seeing a dermatologist once a year to check for atypical moles or unusual changes in your skin.
Cholesterol screening. The American Heart Association recommends healthy adults have their cholesterol checked every four to six years beginning at the age of 20, increasing in frequency as you age or your health changes.
Diabetes screening. A simple blood test can check your glucose, also known as blood sugar level.
Depression. Tests for depression come in the form of screening questions from your doctor. Depression support is available to you anytime by dialing 988. If you’re experiencing thoughts of self-harm or violence, seek immediate help by calling 911.
At Age 40+
|Mammogram. Screening guidelines from the American Cancer Society recommend women at average risk for breast cancer have an annual mammogram beginning at age 40.
At Age 45+
|Colonoscopy. The American Cancer Society recommends all adults receive their first colonoscopy at age 45. If the results are normal, you shouldn’t need another one for ten years.
|At Age 50+
|Prostate exam. The American Cancer Society recommends most men ages 50 and older have a prostate exam to check for signs of prostate cancer. Your doctor can perform a physical exam or order a blood test to check your blood for prostate-specific antigen (PSA).
If you have a family history of certain diseases, cancers, or pre-existing health conditions, your care provider may suggest regular preventive screening at a younger age.
Comprehensive Care for Every Age and Stage of Life
The best way to ensure you have recommended screenings at the right time is to set up an annual wellness exam with your primary care provider. A yearly wellness exam is a once-a-year check-in with your doctor, where they can monitor your wellness and provide screening recommendations tailored to your family history and current health.
Find a doctor near you to schedule an annual wellness exam and get your screenings on the calendar.