Essential Health Screening Tests for Every Stage of an Individual Life
Health screenings are an essential aspect of preventative health for people of all ages. Your provider will often recommend tests when you come in.
Throughout our lives, we are especially susceptible to some diseases at certain ages. Because different health issues present at separate times, it is not practical to do screening tests all at once. The idea is to make a crucial diagnosis before the issue becomes a significant problem, so it is essential to schedule health exams at the right time.
Here is an in-depth guide to the health screenings you might need, organized by age and gender.
- Infancy and Childhood Screenings
Without symptoms of any disease, infants generally do not need many laboratory screening tests once newborn screening tests have been performed during the first week of life.
The screening test can identify and diagnose at-risk infants. Early identification and diagnosis allow for early medical intervention, which helps prevent and significantly reduce the mortality and morbidity associated with the said disorders.
- Health Exams in Your 20s
We often miss annual health screenings at this age. Busy work and family lives keep healthy adults from seeing their primary care provider.
- STD and STI Checks. For sexually active young adults, routine STD checks are essential to catching HPV or infections early before they can damage reproductive organs or other bodily functions.
- Pap Smear for Women. Pap smears are done routinely to check for cancer of the cervix.
- Testicular Cancer Checks for Men. For men in their twenties, routine checks for masses in the testicles helps to catch testicular cancer as early as possible.
- Evaluation of Your Skin. Suspicious moles or lesions should be removed or monitored carefully.
- Annual Eye Exams. Your eyesight is vital to your well being. Start seeing an eye doctor on a routine basis in your twenties.
- Bi-annual Dental Visits. Never forget to get your teeth cleaned every six months for a healthy mouth.
Many of these tests and evaluations can be repeated during routine visits throughout your lifetime, but they should be started early in your twenties. If your doctor does catch something concerning, the good news is that young people are resilient and have a good chance of treatment and recovery if diagnosed at this time.
- Health Exams in Your 30s
As you become older, more examinations and tests may be needed. Your thirties are the perfect time to think about lifestyle changes, such as exercising more, losing weight, quitting smoking and limiting your alcohol consumption, which helps keep you strong and healthy.
In addition to these lifestyle changes, the following exams should be added to your checkups in your thirties:
- Blood Pressure Monitoring. You need to keep an eye on your blood pressure, particularly if your family has a history of high blood pressure.
- BMI (Body Mass Index). It is an indicator of body weight. Your doctor will discuss your BMI with you and offer advice on how to lose weight if needed.
- Blood Glucose Test. Generally, your doctor will want to check your blood sugar levels to get ahead of diabetes, especially if you are overweight or have a family history.
- Hearing Test. A primary hearing screening should be done around this time.
- Thyroid Function Test. Sometimes, unexplained symptoms can be related to your thyroid. It may include sudden weight gain or loss, changes in sleep habits or mood swings.
- Health Exams in Your 40s
Age 40 brings more tests as the risk for heart disease, lung disease, and other health issues tend to go up around this age. Here are important health screenings you should consider in your forties:
- Cholesterol Levels. How you process cholesterol is largely determined by your genetic history. If you are overweight or have a family history of cholesterol problems, you are at higher risk for heart disease.
- Prostate Exams for Men. Men should have prostate checks, consisting of a rectal exam and a blood test called PSA (prostate-specific antigen), to screen for prostate cancer.
- Mammograms for Women. Women should get a baseline mammogram at age 40, then again every other year.
- Colonoscopy. For people with an average risk of colon cancer, age 45 is the time to start getting a colonoscopy every 5 to 10 years. Talk to your doctor about a virtual colonoscopy if a traditional colonoscopy is not a good option for you.
- Bone Density Test. People at high risk for osteoporosis should have a bone density test around this age.
- Heart CT Scan and Calcium Score. If you are at high risk for cardiovascular disease, now is the best time for a preventative heart CT scan with a calcium score. This test can determine your risk of a heart attack and how aggressive you need to be about your healthy life changes.
- Lung CT Scan. Smokers, those with respiratory issues or anybody experiencing lung disease symptoms should ask their doctor about a preventative lung CT scan.
- Health Exams in Your 50s
By age 50, you’re about done with adding more tests to routine wellness checks. However, you will continue to have regular screenings that started when you were younger. You should also schedule additional appointments and talk to your doctor if you have any health concerns. At this age, disease prevention is critical to living a happy life well past your sixties, seventies and beyond.
Things to discuss with your doctor in your fifties include:
- Menopause for Women. There is no screening for menopause, but the symptoms should be explicit if you are in this stage of life. If you are having difficulty dealing with these symptoms, your doctor may prescribe medications or hormone replacement therapies that will help.
- Help to Quit Smoking. It is never too late to quit smoking. If you are a long-time smoker and are ready to kick the habit, talk to your doctor about resources or tips to help you quit for good.
- Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle. There’s so much you can do to live a healthier life at this age. Check out health tips for men over 50 and health tips for women over 50 to start living your best life now.
Once you’ve established a pattern of preventative care and health awareness, you should continue it for the rest of your life.
Schedule a Comprehensive Health Screening With a Practitioner You Can Trust
Your annual health screening is an opportunity to take control of your personal health and work with your provider to make shared decisions. Bansal Diagnostic Centre makes both essential screening and lab tests accessible and affordable.
Make an appointment today to take control of your health!