If you have kids, it’s a safe bet that you’d never miss their yearly physical. Even if you forgot, school requirements help keep kids on track to see their pediatricians regularly. But as an adult, who’s reminding you to make (and keep) your preventative health screenings and other health appointments? It’s all on you.
Preventative Health Screenings Save Lives
Preventative health screenings are important because they help catch small problems before they become big problems. This saves you time, hassle, and money – not to mention your health!
You should see a health care provider anytime you feel “off.” (Gateway Hancock Health’s immediate care is here to help if you have trouble getting in to see your doctor quickly.) Clear signs to be evaluated are ongoing fatigue, dizziness or being under the weather for more than a few days. But you should also see your doctor annually for a physical.
An annual physical is one of the easiest ways to knock out several preventative screenings at once. Screenings for depression, hypertension, prostate cancer, obesity, intimate partner violence and alcohol/drug abuse are conducted during your visit. Cervical and breast cancer screenings can be done by your primary care physician or during your annual visit to a gynecologist or midwife. Depending on your age and risk factors, you may be advised to start on another preventative health screening – the mammogram.
Pro Tip: Schedule next year’s physical when you are checking out from this year’s physical and put it into your calendar. Many people find it’s easier to change an existing appointment (if needed) than it is to schedule an appointment from scratch.
Together with your doctor you’ll be able to assess your risk for other screenings like colorectal cancer and diabetes. If you have a family history of certain diseases your doctor may recommend screening for things earlier than is generally recommended. While scheduling a colonoscopy may not sound fun now, the peace of mind it will bring afterward is worth it.
Hancock Health is proud to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network member. For more comprehensive information on health screenings the Mayo Clinic has a recommended schedule of screenings for healthy adults, broken down by age and gender. Click here for more information.