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Chances are, if you’re a typical guy you’re more tuned in to what your car needs to run smoothly than you are to your own health. A smooth running body is a huge factor in your quality of life. And all it takes is a bit of regular maintenance.
The following testing schedule is set forth by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Your schedule depends on your personal health history, so talk to your doctor about which of the tests listed below are right for you.
Check at least every two years or yearly if you have a high normal blood pressure
Check at least every five years, starting at age 20 or more frequently if you have cardiovascular risk factors
Begin regular testing at age 50. Your doctor can help you decide which test is right for you. How often you need it will depend on which test you have. You may need to have testing earlier if you have a significant family history of colorectal cancer
If you’ve felt “down,” sad or hopeless for two weeks straight, with little interest or pleasure in doing things you once enjoyed, talk to your doctor about depression.
Test for diabetes if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
If you’re battling obesity, smoking and alcohol use, ask your doctor about counseling and behavioral interventions to help improve your lifestyle choices.
Beginning at age 50, talk to your doctor about the possible benefits and harms of prostate cancer screening if you are considering a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test or digital rectal examination (DRE).
Ask your doctor if you should be tested for sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV.
Like a trusted mechanic who knows your car’s quirks, a family medicine physician is an important ally in maintaining your health. General screening recommendations are just the starting point. Based on your ethnicity, family history or risk factor profile, your doctor may recommend additional or more frequent testing.
Finally, it’s up to you. Choosing to make lifestyle changes and manage your risk factors is a vital part of protecting your health.
If it’s time to see if your body is in top shape, call 1.800.4BAYLOR for a referral to a physician on the Baylor Garland medical staff or click here.
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