Health maintenance visits differ from visits needed by people who have medical problems that need to be monitored and treated. Even if you feel fine it still important to see your health care provider regularly to check for potential problems. Most people who have high blood pressure don’t even know it. The only way to find out if you have hypertension is to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Likewise, high blood sugar and high cholesterol levels often do not produce any symptoms until advanced disease has occurred.
What can I expect from a general health maintenance examination?
What tests are recommended for my age?
What shots are recommended?
What should I ask the doctor?
How can I keep track of my medicines and tests?
If you are a woman:
- Examine your breasts monthly.
- Routine mammograms are recommended for women ages 40 to 65.
- Get a Pap smear at least every three to five years, depending on your risk profile
After menopause, most women experience bone loss.
You may be susceptible to osteoporosis if you:
- are postmenopausal
- are Caucasian or Asian
- have thin bones
- have a family history of osteoporosis
Osteoporosis can be prevented by:
- increasing your calcium intake. If you are 51 or older, we recommend
- 1,200 mg daily or 1,500 mg daily if you are not on hormone replacement
- exercising regularly
- avoiding smoking, heavy alcohol use, and falls
If you are a man:
- Testicular cancer is the most common type of cancer in men ages 20 to 35. A testicular self-exam can increase the chances of early detection and a cure.
- Examine each testicle once a month after a warm bath or shower.
- Notify your doctor if you feel any new growth or lump.
- If you are over the age of 50, discuss with your doctor whether you should
- have a digital rectal exam and/or PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test to check for prostate cancer
Immunizations can protect you from certain diseases or make symptoms less severe. All young adults should be up to date with measles, mumps, rubella, and tetanus immunizations. The tetanus immunization should be repeated every 10 years. You may also benefit from other immunizations including varicella (chicken pox) and hepatitis B vaccines. A pneumonia shot or a yearly flu vaccine may be recommended. Your doctor will recommend the immunizations that are appropriate. If you think you are due for any immunization, please bring it to your doctor’s attention.