Preventive Health Screenings — There’s an easy way to chart a course for better health and possibly avoid such diseases as diabetes and heart disease and you can do so with only a few hours out of your schedule a few times a year whether you are visiting Bali or are a resident here.
Ensuring you’re up to date on preventive services is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy. There are many preventive services all adults should get regularly. The most common for adults fall under three categories: cancer screenings, cardiovascular disease screenings and immunizations.
For cardiovascular health, adults should have a BIMC health professional check their blood pressure levels at least every two years and their cholesterol levels at least every five years. These screenings are important because they can be indicators of cardiovascular disease. The earlier a physician sees the levels rise, the earlier you can reverse them with lifestyle changes, such as a healthier diet and more exercise.
All adults should be screened for colorectal cancer beginning at age 50, or earlier if there’s a family history. Getting screened for colorectal cancer, which affects the rectum and colon, is key because it’s the second most deadly cancer to affect both women and men, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
When it comes to immunizations, you may get vaccinated against bacterial infections, such as tetanus and diphtheria, as a child, you are encouraged to get a booster shot for those illnesses every 10 years as an adult. Seniors age 65 and older should also be vaccinated against pneumonia, as older people are more vulnerable to the respiratory disease.
What screenings are right for you?
There are many preventive screenings geared toward all adults, checklists for which are available from your BIMC doctor. But some exams are specifically geared toward certain types of people. Beginning at age 40, women should talk with their physicians about when to get mammograms, which are X-rays of the breasts that can detect or predict a risk for cancer. From ages 50 to 74, women should get mammograms every two years, though your doctor may recommend screenings earlier based on your personal risk factors. A woman’s risk of dying from breast cancer can drop substantially with regular mammograms, according to the CDC.
The Pap test, in which a physician examines cervical cells for abnormalities, is recommended for women every three years between ages 21 and 65 to detect cervical cancer. There’s also a DNA-based test to screen for viruses that are linked to the cancer.
Men also have certain screenings aimed at them. If you’ve ever smoked and you’re a man who is between ages 65 and 75, you should be screened for abdominal aortic aneurysm risks. The abdominal aorta, the largest artery in the abdomen, can be weakened by smoking.
When it comes to preventive care for children, immunizations, such as for the measles and whooping cough, are the most critical in terms of cost savings and reducing disease and mortality rates. Screenings are recommended often as the child grows, such as for blood pressure and behavioral development. Others are specifically for newborns, children and adolescents.
Health-e reporting with source: The Nations Health