Here is a list of the most common health screenings that we should all do!
However, keep in mind that all of these are also based on your personal risk factors and on your provider’s recommendations.
- Cervical cancer. The new guidelines are that Pap smears are not needed for women under 21. For women ages 21-29, they are recommended every 3 years. For those between 30-65, they are recommended every 3 years or every 5 years if combined with an HPV test. Over age 65 or if any of these Pap smears are abnormal, you will need them more frequently.
- Breast cancer. The new guidelines are women ages 40-49 should have a mammogram based on individual risk factors and your provider’s recommendations. Women aged 50-74 should have at least one mammogram every 2 years. Of course, again, this varies with certain risk factors and based on a discussion with your provider.
- Prostate cancer. PSA tests are no longer recommended as a screening test unless your provider recommends one.
- Colon cancer. This should be done for anyone over the age of 50. The main screening recommendation is to have a colonoscopy every 10 years, or based on the findings of your first one. An alternative option is yearly tests to check for blood in your stool.
- Osteoporosis. Bone density tests are recommended every 2 years for women over age 65 and for men over age 70. They should also be done sooner for anyone with risk factors for osteoporosis, such as regular steroid use.
- High cholesterol. Cholesterol should be checked yearly for men over the age of 35 and women over the age of 45. It should be checked at a younger age, including in childhood, if you have risk factors such as obesity, family history of early heart disease or high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, and smoking.
- Vaccines. All children should get the recommended vaccines based on their age. All children and adults should get the flu vaccine yearly. Young men and women can get the HPV vaccine up to age 26. Adults should also get at least one Tdap and a tetanus booster every 7-10 years. Adults over age 65, or younger based on your provider’s recommendations, should get the pneumonia vaccine. Adults over 65 should also get the Zostavax to prevent shingles.
- Diabetes. Blood sugar should be checked yearly over the age of 40. It should be done sooner in individuals, including children, with risk factors for diabetes. These risk factors include having diabetes during pregnancy (even if it is diet controlled), having a family history of diabetes, obesity, or certain findings on a physical exam.
- HIV. This should be done at least once or more frequently, if you have risk factors such as having a new sexual partner, using IV drugs, or having multiple sexual partners.
- Lung cancer. Annual low dose CT scans are recommended for smokers or previous smokers ages 55-80 based on your provider’s recommendations.