Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself
To further illustrate my point, I want to “drive home” the message with a car maintenance comparison. We bring our cars in to our mechanics for regular maintenance, oil changes, new filters and other diagnostics rather than driving them into the ground. You take care of your car so you can drive it comfortably and get as many miles out of it as you can. Your body is the same way. Regular checkups and preventive screenings help maintain your health for the long haul.
So, you may be wondering how often you should go in for a general checkup and for preventive health screening testing. Much of that depends on your age, race, and current and baseline health status, as well as other factors such as family history and genetic risk. During your initial visit, your doctor will come up with a customized checkup schedule based on your current health and lifestyle.
Most physicians recommend adult males be checked annually for high blood pressure, cholesterol and various sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), depending on their lifestyles and personal behaviors. Starting at 50 years of age, men are encouraged to have annual screenings for colorectal cancer unless there is a family history of cancer, which means screenings may be needed earlier. Screenings for other cancers, depression and diabetes will be guided by family history and the other factors mentioned earlier. For men in their mid-40s, it’s a good time to commit to the annual routine physical exam.