When to schedule checkups with your doctor

Scheduling routine care is the first step to preventing disease. Follow these guidelines to learn what health professionals recommend:

  • The American Cancer Society says women should begin having annual pap smears to test for cervical cancer around 21, or three years after becoming sexually active. Men should get prostate exams starting at age 50, while women should receive mammograms at 40.
  • Dr. Robert Hart, medical director with highly rated Ochsner Clinic in Baton Rouge, La., says it's important for men and women to have routine physical exams. The five things your doctor should check: height, weight, cholesterol, blood sugar levels and blood pressure.
  • Skin and eye exams should be done every one to two years for healthy adults. If you have diabetes, the No. 1 cause of blindness, Hart recommends getting an eye exam once a year. Those with a family history of skin cancer should see their doctor every 6 months.
  • Stay current on immunizations. The Mayo Clinic suggests getting a tetanus shot every 10 years, an annual flu vaccine after age 50 and a pneumonia shot after age 65.
  • About 1 in 19 people will develop colorectal cancer in their lifetime, so doctors recommend getting a colonoscopy every five to 10 years, starting at age 50.


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Don't be afraid to ask questions and take the time to discuss all health concerns with your physician. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Courtney S.)
Don't be afraid to ask questions and take the time to discuss all health concerns with your physician. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Courtney S.)

Two highly rated primary care physicians provide the right checklist to understand your health.


And on "Prostate Test" on this subject notice, I was able to reduce PSA from 4 to 3, and years later from 12 to 5, just with saw palmetto, and other herbs.

I agree with Ellen. Prevention is many times better than anything a doctor can do. I learned this when usually sick as a child I totally eliminated ALL disease. It comes mostly from NO junk food, and eat as close as possible to the way God created it, i.e. ORGANIC. This gave me enough strength to survive back to excellent health, when from a broken head and seven weeks coma no doctor expected me to live five minutes. As with many other things, I do not need to believe doctors!

I disagree with the first sentence in this article, "Scheduling routine care is the first step to preventing disease". The first step to preventing disease is to live a healthy lifestyle; having routine checkups is second.

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