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According to HealthyPeople.gov, “clinical preventive services, such as routine disease screening and scheduled immunizations, are key to reducing death and disability and improving the Nation’s health.”
In addition to basic screenings, your healthcare provider will also provide additional age appropriate and gender-based screenings. To help you plan, we’ve provided a list of basic health checkups for women, men, teens and babies. However, if you’re not sure what screenings you should receive, talk to your healthcare provider or visit MedlinePlus.gov to view a list of recommended screenings by age and gender.
We’ve listed a few:
Women need exams and screenings to find problems before they start. Well-women exams generally include:
- A pelvic exam — an exam to check if internal female organs are normal by feeling their shape and size.
- A Pap test — a test to check for cancer of the cervix, the opening to a woman’s uterus. Cells from the cervix are examined under a microscope.
- A clinical breast exam — to check for breast cancer by feeling and looking at your breasts.
Your healthcare provider may also recommend other tests, including a mammogram or a test for HPV (human papillomavirus).
Compared to women, men are the least likely to pay attention to their health. Men are more likely to smoke and drink alcohol, make unhealthy or risky choices, and delay getting checkups. Many of the major health risks that men face such as prostate cancer, low testosterone, colon cancer or heart disease can increase life expectancy with early detection.
Teenagers go through many changes as they become more independent and start making their own choices. Some of the biggest choices they face will involve their health. Pay attention to their physical and mental health.
For starters, healthy habits, including eating a healthy diet and being physically active, can help them feel good and do their best in school, work, or sports.
E-cigarettes and vaping have become popular with teens. Be sure to discuss the dangers of becoming addicted. Remember, it’s never too early to work on preventing chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis and stroke.
Ask your teen’s pediatrician for help early when you know something is wrong.
Well-baby exams are important in making sure that your baby is growing and developing properly. If there are problems, they can be identified and treated early. During these checkups, your baby will receive recommended immunizations. And screenings. This is also a good time to ask your healthcare provider specific questions about caring for your baby.
Most importantly, annual and regular checkups ensure that early detection can determine the course of how these and other conditions are treated and managed by your healthcare provider.
In addition to screening for chronic and infectious diseases, annual exams:
- Assess risk for future medical issues
- Provide a documented record of your health status
- Update vaccinations, if applicable
- Provide healthy lifestyle counseling
- Establish a relationship with a health provider should a more serious health condition arise.
If your household is uninsured or underinsured, community clinics provide health screenings on a sliding scale based on your income. Community clinics offer the full menu of services ranging from basic physicals to eye and dental care, mental health services and hearing screenings.
Sources: HealthyPeople.gov and Medline Plus.