Receiving routine health screenings each year is crucial to staying on top of your health. It is paramount for disease prevention, as well as early detection for signs of serious illness. Lead a healthier life by scheduling these four routine screenings with your physician.
1. Skin Cancer Screening
Skin cancer can be contracted by ALL skin types. The most commonly diagnosed skin cancer types are: melanoma, basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. One in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer at some point in their lifetime. Reduce your risk by checking your body monthly for new or unfamiliar moles, freckles, and markings. If you notice a mark changes shape, texture, color or size, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist to have it tested. By being cautious of changes with your skin, you will remain one step ahead in skin cancer prevention. In addition to wearing sunscreen on a daily basis and seeking shade from the sun, be sure to schedule your annual skin cancer screening, even if you think everything looks fine.
2. Blood Pressure Check
One in every five adults have elevated blood pressure, and they likely do not even know it. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, places your body at risk for having a heart attack or stroke. If your blood pressure test shows that you have high blood pressure, you can make simple lifestyle changes to adjust these numbers back down to normal levels. Reducing your sodium intake, exercising regularly, and eating a well-balanced diet are all ways to lower your blood pressure and improve your overall health.
3. Colorectal Cancer Screenings
Colorectal cancer, if caught in the early stages, is highly treatable. Unfortunately, 39 percent of colorectal cancer cases have already progressed to advanced stages by the time they are detected due to the lack of routine medical screenings. There are several different versions of colorectal cancer screenings, but basic guidelines recommend people at average risk begin receiving regular screenings at age 50. These tests allow your doctor the chance to discover any abnormal cells or pre-cancerous polyps, which is your best shot at beating the disease and saving your life.
4. Eye Exams & Vision Screenings
Often the last things on our healthy living checklist, eye exams and vision screenings are crucial to keeping your eyes in check. It’s important to note the difference between vision screenings and comprehensive eye exams. Vision screenings usually only take a few minutes and evaluate the clarity of your eyesight; however, they are typically ineffective in detecting more subtle vision problems and signs of eye disease. Comprehensive eye exams are crucial to your eye health as they test for glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, retinopathy, and other eye diseases. If you have diabetes, you carry a higher risk for eye disease and should get your eyes examined more often than others. Don’t take chances with your eyesight as you age. Continue to get regular exams and stay on top of your health!