Ten medical tests you should have
There are so many medical tests out there; most of us don’t even know what some of them test for. So which tests are important for you to have?
- Blood pressure check – At every doctor’s visit you should have your blood pressure checked. Monitoring your blood pressure is important for your heart and vascular health.
- Lipid profile – This is a blood test to measure your LDL, HDL and total cholesterol levels. These levels show your heart and vascular health and whether you may be at risk for heart disease.
- Colorectal cancer screening – If you are age 50 to 75, or younger than 50 with a family history of colon cancer, talk to your doctor about which colorectal cancer screening is best for you.
- Diabetes – Determine your blood sugar levels through simple blood tests to screen for diabetes.
- Cervical cancer screening – Women should have a pap smear every two years starting at age 21. Beginning at age 30, women who have had three consecutive negative test results and no other risk factors should have a pap smear every three years.
- Breast cancer screening – A lump can often be detected during a mammogram before it can be felt. Discuss your screening routine with your doctor.
- Skin cancer – Routinely check your body for any new or changing moles. Ask your doctor about having a full body mole exam.
- Dental exam – See your dentist every six months to keep your mouth healthy and clean. Poor oral health can lead to many health complications.
- BMI – Get your BMI, or body mass index, measured to determine whether your weight is within a healthy range.
- Eye exam – Eye and vision problems often show no signs or symptoms. To protect your vision, get your eyes checked to keep you seeing clearly.
The optimal screening schedule for you will depend on your individual medical history. Talk to your doctor about your situation to determine the best preventive screening plan for you.