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Doctors need your help.

Yes, they are professionals tasked with keeping you healthy, but some of the responsibility also falls on you to keep track of your own needs. Seeing the doctor annually for a physical is a good idea, but it will help if you have a sense of what you might need to be concerned about.


The Center for Disease Control has an adult immunization schedule chart, but in order to make things more clear, here are some basic guidelines organized by age (pulled from the chart and ConsumerReports.org for men and for women). Remember to speak to your health professional about what makes sense for you. Note that this list outlines the age when you should start considerations, so things which are listed under 20s (e.g. annual flu shots) also apply in your 30s, 40s, etc., unless noted in parentheses.

20s and 30s
Vaccinations

  • Flu shot - once every year
  • Tdap (Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis - Whooping Cough) booster - every 10 years
  • Hepatitis vaccine - if you are at high risk
  • HPV vaccine - Once if you haven't had it yet
  • Meningitis vaccine - Once if you haven't had it yet
  • MMR (Measles/Mumps/Rubella) vaccine - Once if you never got it when you were a child (no longer relevant at 50)
  • Chickenpox - Once if you never got it when you were a child

Tests and Screens

  • Blood pressure - At least once every other year
  • Type 2 Diabetes - If you are overweight, have high BP/cholesterol, family history, or other risk factors, get tested every 3 years
  • STIs - Get tested regularly for chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, and syphilis as long as you have new or multiple sexual partners
  • Cervical cancer - Women should have a pap smear every 3 years
  • Testicular cancer - While regular screening isn't necessary, men should do regular self-examinations to check for lumps
  • Cholesterol - Those with high blood pressure, family history, or other risk factors should consider cholesterol testing every 3-5 years starting at age 25

40s
Tests and Screens

  • Colon cancer and Colorectal cancer - Starting at age 45, men should consider either an annual stool test, or a Colonoscopy every 10 years
  • Breast cancer - Women with family history should have an annual mammogram starting at age 40

50s
Vaccinations

  • Shingles vaccine - at age 50

Tests and Screens

  • Lung cancer - Regular screenings IF you were a smoker - at age 55.
  • Colon cancer and Colorectal cancer - Starting at age 50, women should consider either an annual stool test, or a Colonoscopy every 10 years.
  • Breast cancer - Women should have a mammogram every 2 years starting at age 50.
  • Prostate cancer - Talk with your doctor to see if you're at increased risk.

60s
Vaccinations

  • Pneumonia - 2 vaccines, starting at age 65.

Tests and Screens

  • Osteoperosis - Have a bone density test every 3 years starting at age 60

And remember, at any age, it's worth discussing your diet, exercise regimen, and sleep habits with your doctor in which you partake. Stay healthy!

Till next week!

Justin


Quotes provided by Ethos Life Insurance