What Happens During a Physical Exam?
One of the best ways to ensure that you are healthy and prevent medical conditions from becoming serious is to visit the doctor annually for a physical exam. For most patients the exam will follow a routine and will begin with collecting the person’s medical history. The doctor will also evaluate the person for signs of any medical condition or illness. These exams help to prevent conditions from worsening and ensure that treatment can begin in the earliest stage if a condition is present. When a disease is discovered early on it is usually much easier to treat. Vital signs will usually be taken to help the doctor get a picture of your overall health and include blood pressure, breathing levels, cholesterol levels, heart rate, and temperature. As patients age, more tests may be required.
What Types of Screenings Are Required for Adults?
When people age, their bodies change and additional tests will be needed to ensure that all aspects of the body are functioning properly. Additional tests performed for older adults include:
- Annual skin exams starting at age 27
- Blood pressure and body mass index evaluated annually starting at age 19
- Colorectal cancer screenings implemented every 10 years starting at age 40
For men tests also include:
- At age 45 to 50 a testicular exam at the annual physical exam
- Depending on risk factors, prostate cancer screenings start at age 40 to 50
For women tests also include:
- Annual breast exams starting at age 19
- Pap smear performed every three years starting at age 21
- HPV tests should be performed every five years starting at age 30
- Mammograms performed every two years starting at age 50
If any concerns develop, these tests should be executed at the onset of symptoms and continue consistently until no concerns remain or treatment is complete.
How Will I Know Which Preventative Tests I Need?
All necessary tests and screenings will be reviewed with each patient by the doctor. When patients maintain a healthy lifestyle and follow the doctor’s recommendations, it can help to ensure that their health is not compromised.