West Texas VA Health Care System
ROUTINE HEALTH SCREENINGS
Preventative Medicine: Routine Screenings to Help Improve Your Health
Below are eight simple yearly screenings that can improve your health and help you lead a more active life.
1. CHOLESTEROL SCREENING: High levels of cholesterol in your blood can increase your risk for heart disease. A simple blood test can detect high cholesterol. Exercise, healthy eating habits and medicines can help prevent/control high cholesterol.
2. COLORECTAL SCREENING: Colorectal cancer occurs when tumors form in the large intestine. This is common in both men and women. A colonoscopy every 10 years for anyone over the age of 50 is recommended. Ask your doctor for fecal occult blood cards (FBOT) yearly if you do not want to have a colonoscopy.
3. DIABETES SCREENING: Diabetes is a disease where blood sugars are too high. There are two types of diabetes, Type 1 where your body does not make insulin and Type II where your body does not make or use insulin well. Diabetes can cause serious health issues. A simple blood test can detect diabetes.
4. HYPERTENSION SCREENING: Hypertension or high blood pressure usually has no symptoms but it can cause serious heart or kidney problems. Hypertension can be controlled by a healthy diet and life-style and medication.
5.MAMMOGRAPHY SCREENING: Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women in their lifetime. Men can also be affected by breast cancer. Monthly self-breast exams should be done. A mammogram is recommended every 1-2 yrs for women between the ages of 40-49 and yearly for over 50 yrs of age.
6. OBESITY SCREENING: Obesity occurs when you eat more calories than you use. It can result in diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and some cancers. Losing 10-20 pounds can reduce these risk factors. See your nutritionist or physician for a weight loss program.
7. PROSTATE CANCER SCREENING: Symptoms of prostate cancer may include frequent urination, pain on urination, trouble starting stream, and incomplete emptying of bladder. Males over 50 years of age should ask their physician for a yearly blood test to check their Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) level.
8. SMOKING SCREENING: Smoking can be detrimental to all organs of the body especially the heart and lungs. Ask your physician for a program to assist you in quitting smoking. This can increase the length and quality of your life.