As you get older, your body starts to change. This means that illness and disease can come on stronger. For your protection, it’s a good idea to have certain preventative tests and exams done to ensure that you are in good health or to catch anything serious before it spreads. The following are five checkups and exams that you need to have as you get older in order to keep putting your health and wellness at the forefront.
1. Annual Vaginal Exam
Most women start having annual vaginal exams in their early 20s. Exams such as pap smears have been done to test for abnormalities in the vagina and uterus, as well as can also be a part of an annual exam that tests for sexually transmitted diseases. In addition to pap smears, your annual exam provides you with the opportunity to discuss vaginal issues and concerns with your doctor. For instance, if you are worried about anything relating to pain in the vagina or anything due to fertility issues, this is the time to discuss them. If you have issues with the way your vagina looks, you can also talk with your doctor about it during your exam. They may suggest you look into a vaginoplasty or other procedure.
Women are told to start having mammograms in their early 40s, but you can always start them earlier based on family history or your doctor’s recommendations. A mammogram is designed to help locate breast cancer. Since this is the leading cause of death among women, it’s a good idea to find it early. During this process, your breast is pushed between two pieces of equipment that scan it. It is mildly uncomfortable, but it’s not excruciatingly painful. Technology on these tests have been advanced over time, so women can usually go home knowing their results.
A colonoscopy is not a fun procedure, but it’s recommended for individuals over the age of 50. During this procedure, doctors will stick a camera in your anus to look at your colon. This is a great way to test for signs of colon cancer or any other anal issues, such as anal cancer. Since anal and colon cancer can be tough procedures to undergo, it’s always good to catch these early, which is why you should undergo a colonoscopy at least once every few years or more depending on what your doctor suggests.
4. Prostate Exam
For men, prostate cancer is one of the most curable cancers, but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be taken seriously. As a man, you should start having your prostate examined as your doctor says so. This is a small slightly uncomfortable test done at your doctor’s office. If your exam shows any abnormalities or issues, your doctor will help you learn the best treatment. Usually, this just involves removing the prostate. If this is done before the cancer has time to spread, patients usually heal without any other signs of cancer as they continue to age.
5. Physical Exam
One exam that you should undergo at least once a year is your physical exam. This exam is done in your doctor’s office and usually involves a thorough checkup by your doctor as well as some blood work. This is done for different health purposes and can help to locate an illness or disease before it becomes too complicated. Typically, your doctor will ask that you have an exam done once a year so they can keep track of your health. However, if you have an illness or are over a certain age, your doctor may want you to get checked more often.
Your health is very important, and as you get older, there are certain things you need to do to be sure you are remaining healthy.