Be proactive about your health by staying on top of necessary screenings and health care visits. This schedule is a suggested timeline for routine screenings. Talk with your health care provider for specific personal guidance. More frequent screenings may be recommended based on your personal health history.
Everybody has a motivation to stay healthy. What’s yours?
We at Life Line Screening understand that sometimes we put others in front of our own needs. But we also know that having a healthy body enables us to enjoy more life experiences that are important to us. Our screenings allow for patients to be proactive about their health. The preventative health screenings we conduct go beyond regular checkups to provide you and your doctor with valuable information about your health. You’ll be able to get information you need to take action to prevent chronic disease before it’s too late.
|Physical examination||Every 23 years; discuss with your health care provider.||To screen for diseases; assess risk for future problems; discuss lifestyle habits; and keep vaccinations up to date.|
|Thyroid test||Discuss with your health care provider.||To identify an under- or overactive thyroid, both of which are very treatable and either of which can lead to more serious conditions if left untreated.|
|Bone mineral density test||At least once beginning at age 65; earlier depending on your risk factors for osteoporosis.||There are no obvious signs of osteoporosis until you fracture a bone. Bone density screenings identify problems early, enabling you to start treatment and prevent further bone loss.|
|Mammogram||Every 12 years starting at age 40.||To identify possible early signs of breast cancer.|
|Clinical breast exam||About every 3 years for women in their 20s and 30s, and every year for women 40 and over.||Not all breast cancers are found on mammograms; a good clinical breast exam can also help identify cancers relatively early.|
|Colonoscopy||Every 10 years starting at age 50. Alternatively, you may get a flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years or a double-contrast barium enema every 5 years or a CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years, but a colonoscopy will be needed if any of those results are positive.||To identify (and remove) precancerous polyps or early cancers.|
|Fecal occult blood test (also called stool guaiac test) or fecal immunochemical test or stool DNA test||Annually starting at age 50 for the fecal occult blood test or the fecal immunochemical test; stool DNA test may be given at intervals recommended by your doctor.||To provide an early warning sign about colon cancer. Not as good as a colonoscopy in identifying cancers or precancerous cells.|
|Digital rectal exam||Starting at age 50, every 5â€“10 years with each colon screening.||To help find early signs of colon cancer in the anal canal and lower rectum. Because of its limitations, it is not recommended as the only test for colorectal cancer.|
|Fasting plasma glucose test (also called blood glucose test)||Every three years starting at age 45; more often or earlier if you’re overweight or at risk for diabetes.||To provide an early warning sign of high blood sugar levels, which could mean an increased risk for diabetes.|
|Eye, Ear and Teeth Health|
|Eye exam||At least once from ages 20 to 29; at least two exams between ages 30 and 39. At age 40, get a baseline eye disease screening. Based on results, follow ophthalmologist’s recommendations until age 65. After that, complete eye exam every one to two years.||To test your vision and screen for glaucoma and macular degeneration, two common, often age-related conditions.|
|Hearing test||Beginning at age 18, then once every 10 years until age 50, after which it should be once every three years.||To make sure you’re hearing all life has to offer.|
|Dental exam and cleaning||At least once a year; twice a year is best.||To remove plaque and bacteria that could lead to tooth and gum disease; to check for tongue and mouth cancer. Problems with your teeth can indicate osteoporosis.|
|Blood pressure screening||At least every 2 years in your health care professional’s office.||The only way to identify hypertension is with blood pressure screenings.|
|Cholesterol screening||Every 5 years starting at age 35. Begin screening at age 20 if you smoke, are obese, have diabetes or high blood pressure or have a family history of heart disease.||Treating cholesterol abnormalities can help reduce your risk of heart disease.|
|Pap test||Every 3-5 years for women ages 21-65. Women 21-30 should get a Pap test every 3 years. Women over 30 should get a combined Pap test and HPV test every 5 years; if HPV testing is not available, they may get a Pap test every 3 years. Screening may be stopped for women over age 65 who have been adequately screened with normal results and are not at high risk for cervical screening. If you have had your cervix and uterus removed, ask your health care provider if you need to continue screening.||Helps identify women at risk for developing cervical cancer.|
|HPV test||Every 5 years along with Pap test in women ages 30-65 (and in younger women with inconclusive Pap tests).||The HPV test in combination with the Pap test is better at identifying women at risk for developing cervical cancer than the Pap test alone.|
|Pelvic exam||Annually for women starting at age 21 or younger if indicated by medical history.||As part of a preventive care visit to assess health, lifestyle and health risks.|
|Chlamydia test||Yearly until age 25 if sexually active; for age 26 and older, get the test if you have new or multiple sexual partners.||Prevents spread of chlamydia.|
|Sexually transmitted disease (STD) screening||All sexually active women and their partners should be tested for HIV and other STDs before starting sexual activity.||Prevents spread of HIV and other STDs, many of which can only be detected through testing.|
|Skin exam by a doctor||Talk to your health care provider about whatâ€™s right for you. If you have risk factors for skin cancer, your health care provider may recommend periodic skin exams.||To track worrisome moles and identify skin cancer early.|
|Skin self-exam||Monthly skin exam starting at age 18.||To know your own skin and be able to report changes to your health care provider.|
|Influenza (flu) vaccine||Annually for everyone 6 months and older.||Protection again some flu viruses (will include H1N1 starting in fall 2010).|
|Hepatitis A||Given in 2 doses, 6-18 months apart, to children 1 year of age and to adults at risk or who want protection from hepatitis A.||Protects against hepatitis A, a serious liver disease that can cause flu-like illness, jaundice and severe stomach pains and diarrhea.|
|Hepatitis B||Given to children at birth in 3 doses at 0, 1 and 6 months. Also given to children or adults who weren’t vaccinated and are at risk for hepatitis B, such as health care workers.||Protects against hepatitis B, a serious liver disease that can develop into a chronic infection.|
|Herpes zoster||Once only at age 60 or older.||Shingles prevention.|
|Human papillomavirus (HPV)||Age 11â€“12 or 13â€“26 if not previously vaccinated; 3 doses at 0-, 2- and 6-month intervals; no booster necessary.||Protects against four common types of HPV, including the two most likely to cause cervical cancer.|
|Pneumonia||Once only at age 65 or older.||Protects against pneumonia.|
|Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Td/Tdap)||Every 10 years.||Protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.|
|Meningococcal||College freshmen, military recruits and other at-risk persons; discuss with your health care provider.||Protects against some types of meningococcal disease (meningitis).|
|Varicella (chickenpox)||Given in 2 doses at 0- and 4- to 8-week intervals to those 19 or older who have not been vaccinated or had chickenpox.||Protects against chickenpox, a usually mild but highly contagious childhood disease, which can be serious in infants and adults.|
Health screening – women
You should visit your health care provider from time to time, even if you are healthy. The purpose of these visits is to:
- Screen for medical issues
- Assess your risk for future medical problems
- Encourage a healthy lifestyle
- Update vaccinations
- Help you get to know your provider in case of an illness
Even if you feel fine, you should still see your provider for regular checkups. These visits can help you avoid problems in the future. For example, the only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have it checked regularly. High blood sugar and high cholesterol levels also may not have any symptoms in the early stages. A simple blood test can check for these conditions.
There are specific times when you should see your provider. Below are screening guidelines for women ages 18 to 39.
Blood Pressure Screening
- Have your blood pressure checked every 3 to 5 years. If the top number (systolic number) is between 120 to 139, or the bottom number (diastolic number) is between 80 to 89 mm Hg, you should have it checked every year.
- If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to have your blood pressure checked more often, at least once a year.
- Watch for blood pressure screenings in your area. Ask your provider if you can stop in to have your blood pressure checked. Or, check your blood pressure using the automated machines at local grocery stores and pharmacies.
- If the top number is greater than 140 or the bottom number is greater than 90, schedule an appointment with your provider.
- Recommended starting ages for cholesterol screening are between 20 to 45 for women.
- Women with normal cholesterol levels do not need to have the test repeated for 5 years.
- Repeat testing sooner than needed if changes occur in lifestyle (including weight gain and diet).
- If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to be monitored more closely.
- If your blood pressure is above 135/80 mm Hg, your provider will test your blood sugar level for diabetes.
- If you have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25 and have other risk factors for diabetes, you should be screened. Having a BMI over 25 means that you are overweight. Asian Americans should be screened if their BMI is greater than 23.
- Go to the dentist once or twice every year for an exam and cleaning. Your dentist will evaluate if you have a need for more frequent visits.
- If you have vision problems, have an eye exam every 2 years or more often if recommended by your provider.
- Have an eye exam at least every year if you have diabetes.
- You should get a flu shot every year.
- After age 19, you should have one tetanus-diphtheria and acellular pertussis (TdAP) vaccine as one of your tetanus-diphtheria vaccines. You should have a tetanus-diphtheria booster every 10 years.
- You should receive 2 doses of varicella vaccine if you were born after 1980 and never had chickenpox or the varicella vaccine.
- If you were born after 1956 your provider will determine if you should receive at least one dose of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
- Your provider may recommend other immunizations if you are at high risk for certain conditions, such as pneumonia.
Ask your provider about the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine if you are between ages 18 to 26 and you have:
- Not received the HPV vaccine in the past (you will need all three shots)
- Not completed the full vaccine series (you should catch up on this shot)
- Your blood pressure should be checked at least every 3 to 5 years.
- Screening for cervical cancer should begin at age 21.
- Your height, weight, and BMI should be checked at every exam.
During your exam, your provider may ask you about:
- Diet and exercise
- Alcohol and tobacco use
- Safety issues, such as using seat belts and smoke detectors
Breast Self-Exam And Mammogram
- Women may do a monthly breast self-exam. However, experts do not agree about the benefits of breast self-exams in finding breast cancer or saving lives. Talk to your provider about what is best for you.
- Screening mammogram is not recommended for most women under age 40.
- If you have a mother or sister who had breast cancer at a young age, consider yearly mammograms. They should begin earlier than the age at which their youngest family member was diagnosed.
- If you have other risk factors for breast cancer, your provider may recommend a mammogram, breast ultrasound, or MRI scan.
- Contact your provider right away if you notice a change in your breasts, whether or not you do breast self-exams.
- If you are between ages 20 to 40, your provider may do a clinical breast exam.
Pelvic And Pap Smear
- Beginning at age 21, women should have a pelvic exam and Pap smear every 3 years to check for cervical cancer.
- If you are over age 30 and your Pap smear and HPV test are normal, you only need a Pap smear every 5 years.
- If you have had your uterus and cervix removed (total hysterectomy) and you have not been diagnosed with cervical cancer you may not need to have Pap smears.
- Women who are sexually active should be screened for chlamydia and gonorrhea up until age 25. Women 25 years and older should be screened if at high risk.
- Your provider will tell you how to prevent infections spread through sexual contact. These are called sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
- Your provider will ask you questions about alcohol and tobacco and may ask you about depression.
- The ACS recommends a skin exam as part of a periodic exam by your provider, if it is indicated.
- The USPSTF does not recommend for or against performing a skin self-exam.
- You should talk with your provider concerning colon cancer screening if you have a strong family history of colon cancer or polyps, or if you have had inflammatory bowel disease or polyps yourself.
- Routine bone density screening of women under 40 is not recommended.
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