It’s unfortunate, but many people take better care of their cars than they do their own health. When it comes to our own health, if it doesn’t hurt, then we don’t bother going to the doctor. Yet, again and again we hear and read stories about people who’s doctor found something off during their routine check-up and got early treatment for serious illnesses, like cancer, diabetes, and even high blood pressure. A yearly routine check up can help save your life and asking your doctor for these tests can potentially catch something early before it’s too late.
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- Mammogram: It is recommended that women aged 50 and over get mammograms every two years, but just to be cautious, you can start getting them at age 40, especially if breast cancer runs in your family. A mammogram is an x-ray of the breasts that can potentially detect changes that lead to breast cancer.
- Skin tests: Most people get freckles from the sun as well as sunspots. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you get checked every year, especially when the rates of skin cancer are on the rise. Every year there are 5 million people diagnosed with melanoma and if caught early, there is treatment available.
- Blood Pressure: With the rise of processed foods many people are suffering from high blood pressure and not know it. This test measures blood pressure, giving you 2 numbers: systolic, which measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats and diastolic, pressure in your arteries between beats. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease, which is why it’s very important to get checked ASAP.
- Comprehensive Metabolic Panel: This test measures your blood sugar and blood proteins. It also gives your doctor important information about your kidneys, liver, cholesterol and calcium levels, sodium, potassium, and electrolytes levels, as well as protein levels.
- Age-specific tests: There are many tests like the mammogram that is recommended based on your age. Other tests like colonoscopy can prevent colon cancer, this one should get done when you’re in your 40’s. A bone density panel should be done when you’re 65, to prevent osteoporosis. Women over 30 should also get a Pap and HPV test every 5 years, to prevent HPV that could lead to cervical cancer.