Your Most Important Medical Exams For 2013

    Check-ups for women between the ages of 18 and 39 should include:

    •     Cholesterol screening
    •     Blood pressure check
    •     BMI check
    •     Pelvic exam
    •     Pap smear
    •     Immunizations
    •     Vision and dental check-ups

    Women between the ages of 40 and 64 may also need:

    •     Screening tests for colon cancer (usually starting at age 50)
    •     Screening test for osteoporosis, called a bone density scan

    Any woman who is postmenopausal and had a fracture needs a bone density scan to screen for osteoporosis. Women with risk factors for osteoporosis (including smoking, a slim build, and insufficient calcium intake) should be screened earlier than age 65.

    Colorectal screening is a must starting at age 50 for men and women. But if you have a positive family history of colon cancer, you will start at age 40. Women over 65 need all of these screenings, check-ups, and immunizations, but the frequency may change as they age.

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    Health Check-Ups for Men

    It’s important for men to speak with their doctors about prostate checks. Starting at age 50, most men need a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and a digital rectal exam to check for prostate cancer. Men at greater risk, including African-American men and any man with a family history of prostate cancer, generally need screenings by the age of 45.

    Check-ups for men between the ages of 18 and 39 should include:

    •     Cholesterol and blood pressure check
    •     Vision and dental exam
    •     Immunizations

    Men between the ages of 40 and 64 may also need:

    •     Screening tests for colon cancer (usually starting at age 50)
    •     Screening tests for osteoporosis, called a bone density scan

    When it comes to osteoporosis screening, any man between the ages of 50 and 70 with risk factors for osteoporosis should have a conversation with his doctor about getting a bone density test. Men over 65 still need these check-ups, but sometimes at different intervals, particularly as health conditions and symptoms arise.

    Doing Your Homework

    In terms of medical check-ups the most important thing for people to realize is that 90 percent of staying well has nothing to do with doctors or medical offices but instead with maintaining healthy habits. That means exercising more, eating healthier foods, avoiding smoking, and limiting alcohol.

    Your doctor is a great resource to help you map out your action plan for good health. So schedule a physical exam and team up to tackle any health problems to enjoy a successful 2013.

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