You may wonder how often you should get a physical. People often say “annually,” but is that true for everyone?
There are several key factors you should consider when determining how often you should have a general health exam. First of all, it is best to ask your doctor what is best for you.
Keep in mind that having regular checkups helps your doctor keep tabs on your overall health. The physician will make sure that you have the proper immunizations, check for any new internal infections (which often do not show noticeable symptoms), and share your health information with any medical specialists you have, such as a gynecologist or urologist.
How Often You Should Get a Physical
This depends on two factors: age and health risks. For instance, if you are under the age of 30 and of a healthy weight, you do not smoke, you do not drink alcohol, and you have no preexisting conditions or taking prescribed medications, then your doctor will likely recommend a physical checkup every three years or so.
Once you reach the age of 30, it’s in your best interest to undergo a physical every other year. However, if you have a preexisting condition or a concerning medical history in your family, your doctor may want to see you more often than that.
Regular Physicals After Age 50
Once you reach the age of 50, that’s when you should submit yourself to a physical annually. Of particular concern is your colon health.
Colonoscopies are advised for both men and women at age 50, since your risk of getting colon cancer or colorectal cancer increases once you reach this age. Your next colonoscopy is usually scheduled depending on your family history of colon polyps and colon cancer, and whether any polyps were found and removed during your first colonoscopy – and the number of polyps there were.
At the age of 65, more frequent physical exams and extensive testing will likely be recommended by your doctor.
Specialists Everyone Should See
If you’re a woman and you are 21, you should begin to see a gynecologist for an annual Pap smear and manual breast exam performed by the doctor. Women who turn 40 should begin regular mammograms; however, women who have a family history of breast cancer should begin having these sooner than 40.
Men who are over age 40 should begin to see a urologist regularly to ensure optimum prostate health. Men who have had one or more family members with prostate cancer should start having them before age 40; ask your doctor when you should start seeing a urologist and have a regular PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test.
In addition to having a colonoscopy, people of both genders should also see a dermatologist on a regular basis. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in both men and women, and it is usually very treatable.
Your general practitioner will be in full communication with all of your specialists so they can provide a team approach to your health care. Be sure to give all of your specialists the name of your general practitioner (family doctor).
Physicals in Bucks County, PA
If you would like to have a physical, feel free to drop by Patient Care Now Urgent Care clinic. We provide compassionate and accessible health care 7 days a week right here in Fairless Hills, PA.
Our team of health care professionals believes that the power of prevention starts with you. Contact us now at (267) 202-6433. Let us be your partner for a lifetime of health and wellness!