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Published on May 05, 2015

Wellness Check: Routine Screenings are Essential to Good Health

Benjamin Franklin once said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” meaning if we work to prevent a problem from occurring in the first place it will save the time, effort and cost of having to repair the damage done later.

In addition to yearly physicals, regular health screenings are an essential form of preventative care. The earlier a doctor can diagnose and treat a condition, the easier it is to help you return to a path of wellness.

“Wellness screening helps to enable early detection and treatment of a disease process before symptoms develop,” explains Natalie Pitaro, M.D., who specializes in internal medicine with Palos Medical Group. “This in turn leads to increased survival and improved quality of life.”

Here we take a look at some of the common screenings recommended for men and women, based on age. Please speak with your doctor for more specific information. These screenings are guidelines. Factors such as family history, genetic disorders and other issues are not addressed. If you are at increased risk or have a health concern, please consult your physician about when you need to start testing and what tests are right for you.

Need a doctor? Call Palos Community Hospital Physician Referral at (708) 226-2300.

 

Women

Bone Mineral Density Test (Osteoporosis Screening)

·        Schedule your test today by calling (708) 827-2030.

Ages 18-39

Focus on steps to reduce bone loss.

Ages 40-49

Focus on steps to reduce bone loss.

Ages 50-64

·        Talk with your doctor or nurse if you are at risk of osteoporosis

Ages 65 and older

·        Get this test at least once at age 65 or older.

·        Talk to your doctor or nurse about repeat testing.

Breast cancer screening (mammogram)

·        Schedule your mammogram today by calling (708) 827-2030.

Ages 18-39

·        Get a baseline screening between ages 35 to 39.

Ages 40 and older

·        Get a mammogram every year.

Prenatal screening

·        For more information about our Family-Centered Care classes, call (708) 226-2300.

·        Talk with your doctor. Need a doctor? Call Physician Referral at (708) 226-2300.

Ages 18-49

·        Initial blood work will be done for multiple screenings, which may include: determining blood type, hemoglobin levels, Rubella immunity, Rh blood type and antibody testing, screening for HIV and STDs.

·        Urinalysis – when your doctor wants it

·        Diabetes (during pregnancy)

Cervical cancer screening (Pap test)

·        Talk with your doctor. Need a doctor? Call Physician Referral at (708) 226-2300.

Ages 18-39

·        Get a Pap test every 3 years if you are 21 or older and have a cervix.

·        If you are 30 or older, you should get a Pap test yearly and an additional HPV test with it every 5 years.

Ages 40-64

·        Get a Pap test yearly and an additional HPV test with it every 5 years if you have a cervix.

Ages 65 and older

·        If you have had regular testing with normal results, women in this range should not be tested for cervical cancer. Women with a history of a serious cervical pre-cancer should continue to be tested for at least 20 years after that diagnosis, even if testing continues beyond age 65. Ask your doctor if you need to get a Pap test.

Cholesterol test

·      Ages 18-39

·        Starting at age 20, get a cholesterol test regularly if you are at increased risk for heart disease.

·        Ask your doctor how often you need your cholesterol tested.

Ages 40 and older

·        Get a cholesterol test regularly if you are at increased risk for heart disease.

·        Ask your doctor how often you need your cholesterol tested.

 

Men

Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening

·        Talk with your doctor. Need a doctor? Call Physician Referral at (708) 226-2300.

Ages 65 and older

·        Get this one-time screening if you are age 65 to 75 and have ever smoked.

Prostate cancer screening

·        Talk with your doctor. Need a doctor? Call Physician Referral at (708) 226-2300.

Ages 50-64

·        Starting at age 50, men should talk to their doctor about the pros and cons of testing to decide if it is right for them. If they are African American or have a father or brother who had prostate cancer before age 65, men should have this talk with a doctor starting at age 45. If men decide to be tested, they should have the PSA blood test with or without a rectal exam. How often they are tested will depend on their PSA level.

Ages 65 and older

·        Talk to your doctor to see if screening is recommended.

Cholesterol test

·        For more information about our Heart Risk Assessments, call (708) 226-2300.

Ages 18-39

·        Starting at age 20 until age 35, get a cholesterol test if you are at increased risk for heart disease.

·        Starting at age 35 and older, get a cholesterol test regularly.

·        Ask your doctor how often you need your cholesterol tested.

Ages 40 and older

·        Get a cholesterol test regularly.

·        Ask your doctor how often you need your cholesterol tested.

For both sexes

Blood Pressure Test

·        For more information about our Heart Risk Assessments, call (708) 226-2300.

Ages 18-39

·        Get tested at least every 2 years if you have a normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

·        Get tested once a year if you have a blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

·        Talk about treatment with your doctor if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.

Ages 40-49

·        Get tested at least every 2 years if you have a normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

·        Get tested once a year if you have a blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

·        Talk about treatment with your doctor if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.

Ages 50-64

·        Get tested at least every 2 years if you have a normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

·        Get tested once a year if you have a blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

·        Talk about treatment with your doctor if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.

Ages 65 and older

·        Get tested at least every 2 years if you have a normal blood pressure (lower than 120/80).

·        Get tested once a year if you have a blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89.

·        Talk about treatment with your doctor if you have blood pressure 140/90 or higher.

Colorectal cancer screening (using fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy)

·        Talk with your doctor. Need a doctor? Call Physician Referral at (708) 226-2300.

Ages 50-64

·        Starting at age 50, get screened for colorectal cancer.

·        Talk to your doctor about which screening test is best for you and how often you need it.

Ages 65 and older

·        Get screened for colorectal cancer.

·        Talk to your doctor or nurse about which screening test is best for you and how often you need it.

Diabetes screening 

·        For information about our Diabetes Program, call (708) 923-4330. Talk with your doctor about how often you need testing. Need a doctor? Call Physician Referral at (708) 226-2300.

Skin cancer screening 

·        Talk with your doctor. Need a doctor? Call Physician Referral at (708) 226-2300.

Ages 18-39

·        Monthly self-exam; by a doctor every 3 years, starting at age 20.

Ages 40 and older

·        Monthly self-exam; by a doctor every year.

Mental Health screening 

·        For information about our Behavioral Health Services, call (708) 923-7878.

·        Take one of our free, anonymous online mental health screenings.

SOURCES: womenshealth.gov., U.S. Preventative Services Task Force, Medicare, American Cancer Society