5 Health Checks You Need to Do Annually

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Annual health checks may seem like a waste of time until you read about how frequently they have saved lives.

If you know you are making poor health choices throughout the year, you may feel tempted to skip your annual check-ups, but the cruel irony is that you likely need to go for them more than a seemingly healthier person does.

As scary as they may seem – it is always better to go for an annual check-up and address any health concerns than it is to bury your head in the sand.

Below are the top five health checks that everyone should be having done each year:

  1. Cholesterol Check

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.

Almost 90 million American adults over the age of 20 have significantly increased total cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is the leading cause of atherosclerosis, which is the hardening and narrowing of arteries.

That means that people with high cholesterol have a significantly higher chance of developing coronary heart disease or peripheral artery disease. It also increases their chances of having a stroke.

  • Male Checks

Apart from the common checks done at an annual physical, like blood pressure, diabetes, and heart rate checks, your doctor may require a prostate exam for men.

A prostate exam involves either a digital rectal exam (DRE) or prostate-specific antigen tests to monitor PSA levels. If there is any cause for concern, further testing can be done.

After the age of 65, PSA levels are expected to increase – so don’t be alarmed by a slight uptick in numbers. It is the sudden jumps that are an indication of an underlying issue.

Not all underlying issues spell certain doom; most of them are both treatable and curable.

  • Female Checks

Annual checks that women should do include pap smears and mammograms.

A pap smear is an important screening test for cervical cancer. It is a crucial screening for all women after the age of 21, and subsequent screenings should be done every 3 to 5 years – but annual checks are always a good idea.

A mammogram is a routine x-ray of the breast that helps detect breast cancer before a routine physical exam can pick it up. Concierge doctors can assist with all these tests and screenings.

  • Skin Cancer Checks

Men and women of all ages should have their moles mapped annually.

Mole mapping is particularly important for any over the age of 40, or for those with a family history of skin cancer. This process involves making a visual record of all the moles on your body, that allows doctors and dermatologists to identify any additions or changes.

Remember, you can only see the moles that are visible to you – any odd changes may not get noticed until it is too late.

  • Depression Screening

Although more and more has been done to raise awareness of mental health’s importance, it could never be enough. Too many people still think that depression and anxiety are not serious conditions and feel that people may be being too dramatic.

That could not be further from the truth! 

Mental health issues are just as important as any other health concern and should be treated with the same level of professionalism and care. 

Getting screened annually for depression can help get you a diagnosis before you travel too far down that rabbit hole alone.

You’re not alone in any of your health complaints or concerns – there are countless support groups available for any number of diseases and conditions. So, get checked out today – it is the right thing to do!