Get Screened for Preventative Health

Science-based screening guidelines from the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force.
Illustration by ISTOCK/GRIVINA

 

Life is full of surprises, not all of them happy. Don’t want to get blindsided by common health ailments? Follow these science-based screening guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Blood pressure

Ages 40–49

Everyone should be tested annually for high blood pressure. If your reading is 130/85 or higher, talk with your doctor about treatment.

Cholesterol

Ages 40–75

Once a year, have your cholesterol and other blood lipids checked.

Colorectal cancer

Age 50-plus

Routine screening is not recommended until age 50, but if you are at increased risk for colorectal cancer talk with your doctor about when you should start.

Bone mineral density (women only)

Age 65-plus

Start routine screening at age 65, or earlier for younger women at increased risk for osteoporosis. Check with your doctor about your risk.

Breast cancer (women only)

Ages 40–50

Ask your doctor whether and when you need to begin annual mammography or other tests. Ages 50-plus Get a mammogram every 2 years and a manual breast exam at your annual physical or check-up.

Cervical cancer (women only)

Ages 40-plus

Get a Pap test every 3 years, or a Pap test along with a human papillomavirus (HPV) test every 5 years.

Prostate cancer (men only)

Ages 50–69

Testing may be appropriate for some men in this age range; talk to your doctor about potential benefits and risks.

 

Categories: Currents, Health