Monday, October 21, 2013

Preventive Health Screenings are Important

The concept of managing health often involves practices such as regular exercise and eating right. However, regular visits to your doctor for preventive care are an integral part maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Regular check-ups are important—the earlier a doctor can detect and diagnose a condition, the easier it generally is to treat. Below are common health screenings recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). Please talk to your physician for more information.

Annual check-ups

Annual check-ups generally include height and weight measurements, pulse and blood pressure readings, urine and stool samples, and blood tests. Often, lab work is not covered in insurance companies' preventive service, so be sure to ask your provider what services or procedures are covered and what are not.


A colonoscopy screens for ulcers, tumors, colon polyps, inflammation, and bleeding in the large intestine's inner lining. During this procedure, the physician removes any abnormal growth and collects abnormal tissue for biopsy. This particular screening enables doctors to identify possible health problems early, such as colorectal cancer.

Female annual exams

Annual exams for women generally include a breast exam, a pelvic exam, and a Pap smear. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) regularly reminds women to have these exams every one to three years depending on risk and health history.

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